Gender Roles in the Elizabethan Era By: saige Carpenter

MARGARET EDGECOMBE by Anon; Painting at Dunster Castle in the King Charles Room. Photo. Britannica ImageQuest, Encyclopædia Britannica, 25 May 2016. Accessed 10 Mar 2017.

For women in the Elizabethan Era, gender rights were a thing for the future. Women had little to no rights compared to today's women. Their husbands could decide to take advantage of their wives or they could decide to take good care of them.

Men and women were very different from each other in the Elizabethan Era. Men and women were expected to work but the women had a tendency to be engaged in labor in the household. One of her primary responsibilities was tending to the family livestock (Singman 30). The male was the head of the household. He controlled the economic resources of the family and made all principal decisions (Singman E5 456). The men in each woman's life were supposed to look after them. They were supposed to keep them safe but yet they could do whatever they wanted to them because of women's lack of rights. They were able to beat, rape, and lock away their wives. They also had full control of their children (Medici 24).

In the Elizabethan Era there were many jobs that the women could and couldn't have. A lot of women wrote books (Olsen 326) and others were required to master skills they would later be expected to perform as wives and household managers, most important were textile crafts: spinning, weaving, and embroidering (Olsen 318). On the other hand, women were not allowed to participate in politics. Unless they were very valued in society during this Era, women were unable to participate in the jobs that were typical of men (Olsen 686). Many things involving women during the Elizabethan Era seemed completely normal to them, but if we treated women today like they did there would be harsh punishments. Women were not able to take charge of their families, as well as participate in politics or own their own land.

- Grendler, Paul F. Encyclopedia of the Renaissance. New York: Scribner, 1999. Print. -

- Morrill, John Stephen. The Oxford Illustrated History of Tudor & Stuart Britain. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Print.

- Olsen, Kirstin. All Things Shakespeare: An Encyclopedia of Shakespeare's World. Westport, Conn: Greenwood, 2002. Print.

- Raber, Karen. Cultural History of Women in the Renaissance. Place of Publication Not Identified: Bloomsbury Academic, 2016. Print.

- Accessed 10 Mar. 2017.

- Medici, Anthony G. "Society and Culture in Shakespeare’s Day." The Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare, by William Baker and Kenneth Womack, vol. 1, Facts on File, 2012, pp. 24-45. Facts On File Library of WorldLiterature. Gale Virtual Reference Library,

- Singman, Jeffrey L. “Daily Life in Elizabethan England.” Westport, Connecticut - London: Greenwood, 1995. Print. "Daily Life Through History".

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.