Character Sketch

The Good Woman of Setzuan

The Good Woman Of Setzuan Summary & Analysis

The Good Woman of Setzuan
The Good Woman of Setzuan

Introduction

            ‘The Good Woman Of Setzuan’ or ‘The Good Woman of Szechwan’ is a play written by ‘Bertolt Brecht’, in collaboration with ‘Margarete Steffin’ and ‘Ruth Berlau’. It was written between 1938 to 1941 when Brecht was living in exile in the United state due to Nazi rule and World War II. It is an example of a non-Aristotelian drama, a form made popular by Brecht and defined in his notes and essays entitled ‘On a non-Aristotelian drama’. The original name of the play was ‘Die Walare Liebe’ Brecht dedicated the play to his wife, ‘Helene Weigel’.

            The play’s title is often translated as ‘The Good Woman of Szechwan’, rather than “Setzuan”, but Szechwan is a province, while Setzuan is a city. According to translator ‘Eric Bentley’, Brecht identified the location of the play as ‘a city’, so he must have meant Setzuan.

Character List

Wong – A water seller. He interacts with the gods in dreams.

Three Gods – Three Gods arrive at the city of Setzuan, looking for a good person.

Shen Te/Shui Ta – Shen Te is a former prostitute who has bought a tobacco shop with the money the gods gave her after she let them spend the night in her home. Shen Te invents a male Shui Ta, her supposed visiting cousin.

Mrs. Shin – Former owner of Shen Te’s tobacco shop.

Yang Sun – An unemployed pilot with whom Shen Te falls in love.

Mr. Shu Fu – A barber who wants to marry Shen Te.

Unemployed Man, Carpenter Mrs. Mi Tzu, Policeman, Old Man, Old Woman, Mrs. Yang are some other characters in this play.

About The Author

            As we know the play was written by Bertolt Brecht in collaboration with Margarette Steffin and Ruth Berlau. Brecht was one of the most influential playwrights of the 20th century. He also wrote a wide variety of people. His works include- ‘The Three Penny Opera’, ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’, ‘Life of Galileo’, and ‘The Good Person of Szechwan’.

            Steffin was a German actress writer and translator and Brecht’s secretary. Berlau was a Danish actress, writer, photographer and director. Both women were Brecht’s lovers.

Character Sketch of “Shen Te”

            ‘Shen Te’ is the central character around which Bertolt Brecht’s epic play ‘The Good Woman of Setzuan’ is written. Bertolt Brecht was a master of characterization in his works. He believed that theatre should be a tool for social change and that characters should be used to challenge the audience’s assumptions about the world.

            ‘Shen Te’ is a female character who disguises herself during half of the pla Shui Ta, a male. Through this character. Brecht presents his most famous dramatic technique of split personality that becomes a medium to represent conflict, morality, and reality. Thus the split character to Shen Te and Shui Ta serve as a model to explain Brecht’s themes of social injustices.

            Shen Te is introduced as a “good Woman” who is a prostitute by profession. The conflict begins from this moment as the playwright shows an individual can retain good moralities even after beginning in a socially unapproved profession. Shen Te is generous, kind, and helpful to everyone irrespective of class or creed. When the gods stay at her place, their faith is restored in humanity. But at the same time, the Gods don’t want others to know that they stayed in a prostitute’s room, as the ‘Incident is open to misinterpretations’.

            Through Shen Te/ Shui Ta, Brecht has made a ‘division within the same person’ of humane Vs inhumane and kind vs. cruel. The play is of ‘disguise’ survival and self-improvement and Shen Te has to pass through a journey of ups and downs throughout the play. She tries to retain her goodness while

  1. Helping her neighbour
  2. Helping her lover, and
  3. Protecting her son from the cruel world.

            But because people take advantage of her good nature, she has to create an alter ego of Shui Ta. The two characters are completely different yet help each other through various events.

            Shen Te takes multiple roles in the play. She is a prostitute, a shopkeeper, a lover, and a mother. In every role, Shen Te is required to have a different set of virtues and vices. As a shopkeeper, She must know how to make profits but as a lover, she surrenders herself completely to Yang Sun. Later one, as a mother she wants to become feracious to ensure her child’s happiness. All her weaknesses as a woman get covered when she turns into Shui Ta. Her pity generosity, love, and passion, take a backseat, and Shui Ta’s pragmatism leads her life.

            As Shui Ta, ‘The Good Woman of Setzuan’ becomes rough and Strict. Shui Ta is only concerned about his profits and gains. He does not care about people and circumstances. He is firm and stern is his decisions. He helps in making Shen Te’s small tobacco shop into a big profit-making factory. This indirectly helps the people of the city in getting jobs. Hence Shen Te is able to continue her charity only through the materialistic gains created by Shui Ta. Though both are absolutely different from one another, they help each other sustain in the world.

            Brecht shows that if circumstances allow, every individual can be a good person. But it is the surroundings that forces people to take up bad attributes. Shen Te was innately a good human being but she had to take up many vices in order to sustain her life in the world. This is why, in the end, the gods do not punish Shen Te. They praise ‘the good woman of Setzuan’ and leave for the heavens after learning about the truth of Shui Ta. Shen Te is not a heroic character but neither Shui Ta is a villain.

             Brecht presents the story of every human being through the struggle of Shen Te. The playwright shows that people are capable of being good and doing good. If the Situations can be altered, if the world can be made into a better place, every person can become good and kind.

Justification Of The Title ‘The Good Woman Of Setzuan’

          The title of the drama ‘The Good Woman Setzuan’ is very suggestive as it clearly speaks of the theme of goodness from the beginning of the play, the theme of goodness comes out with God’s definition of who a good person is. According to the gods, a good person is one who lives a life that is worthy of human beings. Three gods come to the earth is search of a good person.

After a lot of wandering, they find only greed, evil, dishonesty and selfishness. Finally, they find some goodness in Shen Te, a young prostitute of Setzuan. She is rewarded for her hospitality, as gods take it as a sure sign of goodness. They reward her with a thousand dollars.

            According to the gods, goodness cannot survive long if there is no demand for it. They mean to say that it is difficult for a human to achieve goodness without support from other people. Shen Te buys a small tobacco shop with the gifts of the gods. She hopes to help others through the shop by spending profits on such things as food for the hungry.

But most of the people she is trying to help take advantage of her generosity. They want food money, shelter, and constant service. Shui Ta discovers that it is difficult to succeed at being a good person under these frustrating conditions. So she creates an alter ego to help her keep her shop. The helper is her male cousin Shui Ta. Eventually, she realizes that she can not survive without him.

In the drama ‘The Good Woman Of Setzuan’ there is another instance of goodness. Shen Te meets a young pilot in a public park and promises to help him in getting his job. They fall in love with each other. Later on, she employs Yong Sun as a foreman in her factory because she has failed to help him with enough money to get his job.

            In the drama, there is also one instance of goodness when Shen Te offers the Old woman money to pay her rent. Shen Te’s perception of goodness changes during pregnancy, further highlighting the theme of goodness. When she sees the Carpenter’s child digging in the trash. She vows that she will be good to her son and a tigress to others. She says,

            ‘To be good to you, my son I shall be tigress to all others
             If I have to do, and I shall have to.’

            Despite Shen Te staying good, Wong’s hole helps to cast doubt on her good image. After the revelation by Shen Te in the court, that she was also Shuii Ta, the gods could not believe that she did bad things. The first, in particular, insists on congratulating her for remaining good. After the Gods leave, Shen Te remains with her problems and still struggles to achieve goodness.

            Thus we find that The title of the drama ‘The Good Woman of Setzuan’ is very suitable as it clearly speaks of the idea of goodness as the primary theme. Other themes of the play include the ideas of economic strain, money-driven economic strain, money-driven despair, wealth and poverty, reform, and deception.

Summary of The Drama

          The play starts with Wong, a water seller, explaining that he is on the city outskirts awaiting the foretold appearance of several important gods. Soon the gods arrive and ask Wong to find them shelter for the night. They are tired, having traveled far and wide in search of good people who still live according to the principles that they, the gods have handed down.

Instead, they have found only greed, evil dishonesty, and selfishness. Wong tries to find someone who will shelter the gods for the evening, but they are turned away at every door in town. Eventually, a kind prostitute named ‘Shen Te’ agrees to take the gods in. In the morning gods thank Shan Te, for the hospitality and they tell her that she is the only “good human being”. The gods shove over a thousand silver dollars into Shen Te’s hand and they depart.

            Shen Te uses the money the gods give her to rent a tobacco shop but she soon finds herself in trouble as news of her good fortune spreads throughout town. ‘Mrs. Shin’, the former proprietor of the store, the carpenter, and An unemployed man, everyone asks for something according to their needs from Shen Te. ‘Mrs. Mi Tzu’, the landlady, demands male references who can vouch for Shen Te’s finances as well as six-month rent in advance. Shen Te claims she has a cousin, Shui Ta, who is a savvy businessman. She promises that Shui Ta will visit soon to meet with Mrs. Mi Tzu and vouch for Shen Te.

            The gods continually visit Wong in his dreams to check in on whether Shen Te has remained good. Things get more and more complicated for Shen Te. Shen Te begins disguising herself as “Shui Ta” in order to make the ruthless business.

Shen Te, dressed as Shui Ta, kicks the family of eight out during business hours, threatens the carpenter, haggles with Mrs. Mi Tzu, and even puts an ad in the paper for a wealthy husband who can help Shen Te run her business. When Shen Te meets a pilot named Yand Sun is poor and cruel, Shen Te loves him too deeply. Shen learns that Yang Sun is only using her for her money. She falls pregnant with his child.

            Meanwhile, each time the gods visit Wong in his dreams, he tells them of Shen Te’s trials, but the gods insist that Shan Te’s burdens will only give her greater strength and more goodness. Shen Te decides to stay in disguise as Shui Ta.

            Though the tobacco of the village begins missing the sweet, generous Shen Te – and even worrying that Shui Ta has murdered her. When a policeman confronts Shui Ta and demands to know where Shen Te is, Shui Ta cannot answer. He is arrested. He is taken to court. During the process of her trail the gods enter in disguise as a trio of judges to hear the arguments. Shui Ta demands for the courtroom to be cleared because he has a Confession to make to the judges.

            Alone in the room with the gods, Shen Te drops her disguise and she reveals the truth to them. The gods are shocked. In a sorrowful lament, Shen Te describes how hard it has been to try “to be good and Yet to live”. Shen Te points out that she failed to be a good woman and instead became a “bad man”. She begs the gods to tell her what to do about all of her entanglements the gods however, tell her simply to ‘continue to be good’.

Conclusion

            Thus it is clear that like most of Brecht’s plays, his Marxist ideals heavily influenced “The Good Woman of Setzuan”. It questions whether it is possible to survive as a reasonable person in a capitalist society. Through this play, Brecht illustrated the difficulty of being good and staying good in any society. It represents the class struggle between the bourgeois and the working class, the struggle between good and evil, or the conflict between and women.

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Wide Sargasso Sea By Jean Rhys

Wide Sargasso Sea Summary | Wide Sargasso Sea Character Sketch

Wide Sargasso Sea By Jean Rhys
Wide Sargasso Sea By Jean Rhys

Introduction

          Wide Sargasso Sea is a novel by Dominican British author Jean Rhys. It is a story of Antoinette Cosway and her descent into madness at the hands of the cold-hearted and money-hungry Mr. Rochester. It was first published in 1966 and the novel is divided into three parts. Adapted from Charlotte Bronte’s “Jane Eyre” Rhys wrote Wide Sargasso Sea in an attempt to explain Brote’s character, Berth Mason,  the violently insane wife of Edward Rochester who was isolated from the rest of the world and locked in a third-floor room. In this novel, Rhys illustrates the emotional trauma, Sexual repression, and social isolation that Antoinette faces at the hand of Rochester resulting in the loss of herself and her sanity.

About Jean Rhys

            Jean Rhys was a British writer born and raised on the Caribbean island of Dominica. She is best known for her last novel ‘Wide Sargasso Sea’ considered a prequel and post-colonial response to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Among her world-famous works included – The Left Bank and Other Stories, Quartet, Voyage in The Dark, Good Morning, Midnight, Tiger Are Better Looking, and Wide Sargasso sea.

Character Sketch Of Wide Sargasso Sea

Antoinette Cosway

            The daughter of former slave owners in Jamaica. She is a lonely young girl who grows up with no friends and a mother who giver her very little Affection. Her husband moves her to England and locks her in the attic until she becomes delusional. She is based on the Character Bertha Mason from Charlotte Bronte’s novel Jane Eyre.

Antoinette Cosway Mason

            Antoinette beautiful young mother. She is the second wife of both Alexander Cosway and Mr. Mason. She is the subject of the town’s gossip and feels abandoned and persecuted by everyone except those close to her.

Pierre Cosway

            Antoinette’s physically and mentally disabled little brother.

The English Gentleman (Rochester)

          Antoinette’s English husband narrated part two of the story. He is pressured into marrying Antoinette by Richard, her stepbrother, though he knows nothing of her or her family. He soon regrets agreeing to marry Antoinette. He has an affair with one of the servants.

Daniel Boyd / Cosway

            A spiteful, angry man, Daniel Boyd is one of Alexander Cosway’s illegitimate children by one of his slaves.

Sandi Cosway

          Another one of Alexander Cosway’s bastard children. He defends Antoinette when she is harassed on her way to school. Daniel also suggests that Antoinette and Sandi were sexually involved when they were younger.

            Aunt Cora, Christophine Dubois, Richard Mason, and Grace Poole are other characters In this novel.

Mr. Mason

A wealthy English man who takes Annette as his second wife.

Post Colonialism In Wide Sargasso Sea

         Post Colonialism means a piece of literature reflecting on the effects of Colonialism. It is the period when the wrath of Colonialism came to an end in most of the colonized countries. It was during that time when many works started getting published by decolonized writers, stating the bittersweet memories of their experiences from the colonial regime. Those piece of literature published after colonial rule is referred to as post-colonial literature. However, in the world of post-colonial literature, the name of British woman writer Jean Rhyn is printed in gold.

            Wide Sargasso Sea is considered as Rhys’s masterpiece contribution to the era of Postcolonial literature. It deals with colonial issues such as identity and social ranking due to colonial hierarchal structures and for that reason, post-colonial criticism is a suitable approach to the novel. As a work of post-colonial fiction, it captures the pathos of a society undergoing deep and bitter change. Rhys chooses to relate the essence of this conflict through the relationship of White Creole heiress Antoinette Cosway and her English suitor Edward Rochester.

            At the Starting of the novel, the Jamaican slaves are portrayed as enraged beings, upset for any reason. Three are traits of hybridity linked to slavery in the novel. For example – Christophine tends to stand apart from the other Jamaican servants because she is initially from the French Caribbean island of Martinique. Therefore, there is a large population who belong to mixed races because white slave owners in the Caribbean and other parts of the colonized countries were infamous for sexually abusing and impregnating female slaves. Sandi and Daniel Cosway, two of Alexander Cosway’s illegitimate children are also examples of hybridity in the colonized communities.

            In the Colonial era, it was common for white rulers to sexually abuse female slaves as there was little to no say for the enslaved. White people looked at the slaves as objects of pleasure, and entertainment and as beings who were only born to serve them. The white exploited their slaves in every possible way.

            In the 19th century when Colonialism was intact, along with slavery and other issues gender issues were nothing new. Rhys also explores women’s subjugation to male authority in Wide Sargasso Sea. In the novel female characters are intruded as feeble beings who are dependent on men for legal, sexual, and financial security.

            The men in the novel “Wide Sargasso Sea” can be categorized as ultimate opportunists who use their wives as a key to access wealth. Both Annette and Antoinette are dependent on men near them like children depending on their parents for things.

Slavery In the Wide Sargasso Sea

         Slavery is a significant aspect of this novel. The story is set in Jamaica during the late 1830s and the 1840s. At this time in history, Jamaica was ruled by England. However, Slavery tends to be a pertinent issue for many countries around the globe. It had been there for centuries but was at a higher degree during the time of Colonialism. People of Inferior races were deemed as slaves and were beaten up for issues that were not necessarily of concern at many times. In the novel there, is a constant rift between the Creoles and the Jamaicans. The Black people continue to serve the Creoles even after the passing of the Emancipation Act in 1833.

            Part one of the novel sheds light on the ex-slaves who had worked on the sugarcane plantations of the rich Creoles. Although the Emancipation Act freed the slaves the servants were still ill-treated by their white employers.

Character Of Rochester

            Antoinette’s English husband who though never named in the novel. He narrates the longest part of the novel and from his story, it quickly becomes clear that he is based on the hero of Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre. Rochester, the youngest son of a wealthy Englishman travels to Jamaica for financial independence, as his older brother will inherit his father’s estate. He is pressured into marrying Antoinette, although he has only just met her and knows nothing of her family.

            Rochester marries Antoinette for a large sum of money but never connects with him. Soon after the wedding, he decides that he has made a terrible mistake, as he comes to believe that he has been tricked into marrying a girl with bad blood in her veins. He is controlling and unfaithful, believing his wife is conspiring against him. He renames Antoinette Bertha in an attempt to dominate her. After witnessing Antoinette’s mental collapse he takes her to English and locks her in the attic of his mansion.

Analysis of The Novel

            The novel is broken up into three parts, the first details Antoinette’s Childhood in Jamaica, the second is about her unhappy marriage to an English gentleman and the decline of her mental state, and the third focuses on her imprisonment in Mr. Rochester’s attic in England.

Part One

            The Novel begins in early 19th-century Jamaica. A young white girl named Antoinette, the daughter of former slave owners, lives on Coulibri Estate, her family’s Rudown plantation with her mother, her sickly younger brother, Pierre. Moneyless due to the Emancipation Act of 1833 which freed the slaves, her father dead and her mother’s mental health steadily declined. Antoinette’s only friend is a young girl named Tia, the daughter of one of the servants, who one day turns against Antoinette unexpectedly.

            One day a group of well-dressed visitors comes to Coulibri. Among them is a wealthy Englishman named Mr. Mason. After a brief courtship, Annette and Mr. Mason are married. Mr. mason restores Coulibri to its former glory and brings in new servants. During a protest their house is set on fire. After the fire Antoinette becomes dangerously ill for weeks.

            Six weeks later Antoinette wakes up and learns that she has been ill since the incident. Cora, tells her that Pierre died and her mother had gone mad following the trauma of that night, so Mr. Mason sent her to the country to recover. Christophine takes Antoinette to visit her mother, but her mother violently flings her away.

            For the next several years, Antoinette lives at the convent school. Mr. Mason visits Antoinette occasionally but always brings her gifts. During this time Antoinette’s mother dies. When Antoinette is seventeen, Mr. Mason decides he will marry her to an English gentleman.

Part Two

         Part two is narrated by Antoinette’s new husband. It begins with their arrival at Granbois, a small estate on one of the Windward Islands owned by Antoinette’s mother where they intend to spend a few weeks for their honeymoon Rochester, who is unnamed in the beginning and only agrees to it because Mr. Mason’s son, Richar Mason offered him 30,000 pounds.

            Soon after Rochester feels uncomfortable with his wife. Antoinette begins to sense that Christophine for help. Christophine tells Antoinette to leave the man, but she refuses. That night, Antoinette returns home and tells her husband about her past. They talk late into the night and when he wakes, he believes he was poisoned. He runs out of the house and into the woods. He sleeps in the wood for several hours and when he wakes again, he returns to Granbois where Amelie, One of the servants, brings him wine and food. He sleeps with Amelie while Antoinette sits in the next room, able to hear everything.

            The next morning, Antoinette goes to Christophine’s home. When she returns, she is drunk. When Antoinette calls for more to drink, her husband refuses to give her the bottle. After this Rochester decides to return to England and take Antoinette with him.

Part Three

            In the third and Final Part, Antoinette is the narrator. In England, she lives locked in the attic under the care of a servant named Grace Poole. Now violent and deranged, Antoinette has lost all sense of time. When her stepbrother Richard comes to see her, she attacks him with recurring dreams of flames burning down the house, and the novel ends as she escapes her prison, holding a candle.

Conclusion

         Thus, Jean Rhys’s Wide Sargasso Sea depicts many post-colonial yet modern issues that many can relate to. She penned the novel by reconciling the plot with her own experiences. Issues such as slavery male dominance and displacement are still part of our world but at different levels.

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Sriram Character Sketch Mahatma Gandhi

Sriram By R. K. Narayan | Sriram Waiting For Mahatma Character

Sriram Character Sketch Mahatma Gandhi
Sriram Character Sketch Waiting For Mahatma

          Sriram is the main Character and Protagonist of Waiting For the Mahatma, Which is written by a great Indian Novelist R. K. Narayan. The story of this novel is set in Malgudi, R. K. Narayan’s famous fictional village. The novel covers life in pre-independence India and the freedom struggle in the 1900s.

The Novel is woven around how its protagonist Sriram is changed from the state of ignorant and aimless youth to an acute and committed freedom fighter. At first, Sriram is an inspired person who can easily influence by anyone. At the opening of this novel, it is revealed that Sriram is an orphan; both his parents have died, his mother in childbirth, and his father in Mesopotamian as a soldier for the British Army. After his parent’s death, Sriram grows up under the loving care of his grandmother. When he is twenty, his grandmother hands over the fat sum of money. She had been saving in his name.

            Sriram is presented as a lazy and complacent young high school graduate living with his grandmother. He has no knowledge of the condition of the country. But once he meets Bharati and falls in love at first sight with her. She is a disciple of Mahatma Gandhi and is involved in the freedom struggle.

            Sriram comes into contact with Gandhi through Bharati. The nearer he goes to Bharati the more he learns about Gandhi. Sriram becomes a non-violent soldier of Gandhi and his aim was to remain with Bharati. Gandhiji welcomed Sriram and told him:

“Before you aspire to derive the British form this country
 you must drive every vestige of violence form your system.
 You must train yourself to become a hundred percent
 ahimsa Soldier.”

            Gandhi could easily read what type of a man Sriram was. So he advised him to leave his materialist life and accept a spiritual life. Meanwhile Sriram, a pleasure-seeking man was totally changed into a freedom fighter and a follower of Gandhi. As part of propagating Gadhi’s message, especially Quit India, Sriram came to the village name Solur. He halted before a shop and brought two plantains and a bottle of Soda. The shopman told Sriram that he had a nice biscuit. Sriram asked him if the biscuit was English. Shopkeeper replied,

“Purely English biscuits which you cannot get for miles around.”

            Sriram asked, ‘Have you no sense of shame?

Sriram has transformed from a wayward selfish modern materialist to a spokesman of traditional values, swaraj, and nationality. In pursuance of Gandhi’s while Bharati arrested,  and Gandhi ji. Sriram meets Jagdish. In the touch, Jagdish Sriram became a violent soldier of freedom. He became a slave of Jagdish who was a follower of Subhash Chandra Bose.

            Sriram did many destructive works at the request of Jagdish. Soon he understood that by destroying things like setting fire to the records in half a dozen law courts, derailing a couple of trains, paralyzing the work in various schools, and exploding a crude bomb none could oust the British from India. He felt that Mahatma Gandhi’s non-violent weapon was superior to the violent weapon. He was arrested under the Defence of Indian rule.

            The Materialist Sriram was converted into a spiritualist and patriot through the effort of Bharati and Gandhiji. Sriram’s name recalls that of the great hero of the Indian epic the Ramayana.

            In the plot of this, the transformation of the protagonist due to his meeting and falling in love with Bharati is significant. The path of the protagonist’s progress has been from a state of isolated individualism to a state of involvement with others and issues that transcends the self such as love and nationalism. The novel clearly shows how the personal life of people is affected by political events. Sriram and Bharati cannot consummate their relationship until India is independent.

            Thus, Waiting for the Mahatma’s character Sriram is an example of progress and growth. At one level, Sriram’s Character is an example of the progress of young, irresponsible carefree Sriram into a passionate lover, a responsible citizen of the country with a record of considerable sacrifice, and a term in jail to make him a complete patriot.

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Character Sketch Of Lady Macbeth

Lady Macbeth Character Sketch | Character Sketch Of Lady Macbeth

Character Sketch Of Lady Macbeth
Character Sketch Of Lady Macbeth

Introduction

Lady Macbeth is one of the most powerful and dominating female characters in Shakespeare’s tragedy – Macbeth. She is the wife of the Scottish general and the play’s protagonist, Macbeth. Throughout the course of the play, she manipulates her husband Macbeth. She spurs him to commit murder. Lady Macbeth is shown to the audience as a loyal wife who wants the best for his husband, but at the same time, she is portrayed as a malicious character from the very beginning of the play. Some critics consider her The fourth Wicth of the drama. To Goethe, she is “The Super Witch”.

            The fact that three Weird Sisters’ predictions would not have become true without the supreme influence of Lady Macbeth.

            There are the following traits in Lady Macbeth’s Character –

Ambitious

            William Shakespeare the greatest dramatist of whole English Literature sketches the character of Lady Macbeth as an ambitious woman. She is as ambitious as her husband. The only difference between her ambition and that of her husband is that she is not ambitious for herself but for the sake of her husband. She wants him to wear the crown of Scotland. One of the critics named Mrs. Jameson says,

“It is particularly observable
 that in Lady Macbeth’s
 concentrated, strong nerved
 ambition, the ruling passion
 of her mind, there is
 yet a touch of woman
 she is ambitious less for
 herself than for husband.”

            In the first instance, she plans with her husband the murder of Duncan, in fact she takes the initiative in it. Thus Lady Macbeth is an ambitious woman.

Strength of will

            Lady Macbeth excels even her husband in her strength of will, determination, and resourcefulness. Once the decision to murder king Duncan is taken, she knows no wavering or retreating back. No sense of morality, gratitude or compassion can deter her from striving to achieve her goal. This force of will made her bold, courageous irresistible, passionless cruel. She invokes the spiritual powers

 “Spirits
 That tend on mortal thoughts, unsex me here
 And fill me from the crown to the toe top full
 of direst cruelty”

            She invokes the spirits to make her blood thick and stop up all access and passage to pity and remorse, so that no powers may

“Shake my fell purpose;
 nor keep pace between
 The effect and it”

It is right to say, that without her murder of the king would have been impossible.

Tactful

            Lady Macbeth is highly resourceful at the same time. She is tactful and does not lose her mental equilibrium even in the most critical situation. She advises her husband to,

“look like the innocent
 flower and be the
 serpent under it”.

She is a woman of  every practical wisdom:

“To beguile the time, look lie the time”

When Macbeth dreads his filthy hands she says:

“A little water clears up of this deed how easy is it the”

Her feminine Nature

            Yet she is essentially a woman possessing the essential feminine nature. She can wholly discard her feminine weakness in spite of her devilish will and unwavering determination. Her feminine nature fully possesses her in the sleepwalking scene. Every scene of murder has gone deep into her mind and heart. She recalls the event and shader at its very thought –

“Yet who have thought the old man
 To have had so much blood in him?”

Not Human Monster

            Lady Macbeth is not quite inhuman. It is a mistake to call her the “fourth width” in Macbeth. She is not inhuman by nature. At one place she says:

“Here is the smell of blood still; 
 all the perfumes of Arabia will
 not sweeten this little hand”

  Conclusion

          Thus, Lady Macbeth is one of the major characters of the play ‘Macbeth’. She is widely considered to be one of Shakespeare’s most memorable and fascinating female characters.

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“Feminism” reference to Second sex

Feminism Reference to The Second Sex | The Second Sex Summary

“Feminism” reference to Second sex
“Feminism” reference to Second sex

Introduction

“Feminism” is a movement influenced by the ideas postulated, popularized, and precipitated by thinkers and authors like “Simone de Beauvoir”, ‘Alice Walker’, ‘Elaine Showalter’, ‘Simone de Beauvoir and Kate Millett, and others. It is a modern movement expressing protest against male domination and involves sociological and political theories concerning gender difference issues. The term ‘Feminism’ was first used with regard to the issues of equality and the Women’s Rights Movement.

Wave Of Feminism

            Jawaharlal Nehru once said, “You can tell the condition of a nation by looking at the status of its women.”

Women of any nation are the mirror of its civilization. Feminism has experienced two waves. The First Wave also called liberal feminism, usually refers to the social movement in that women fought for their legal vote rights and basic civil rights in America and Britain from 1820 to 1920.

The second wave is also known as the women’s liberation moment, which focused on the differences between females and males and discussed the origin and operation of gender discrimination in ideology, culture, and society. It was a period of feminist activity that began in the early 1960s and lasted roughly two decades.

            The modern feminist movement origins from “The Second Sex” by Simone de Beauvoir,

            “One is not born, but rather
             Becomes a woman. No 
             Biological psychological or
             Economic fate determines
             that the human female
             presents in society, it is
             civilization as a whole. That
              produces this creature,
             intermediate between male
             and eunuch, which is
            describes as feminine”.

The Second Sex Feminism

“The Second Sex” is one of the best-known works of the French existentialist “Simone de Beauvoir”. It is a work on the treatment of women throughout history and is often regarded as a significant work of feminist philosophy. Beauvoir researched and wrote the book in about 14 months. She published the book in two volumes – “Fact and Myths” and “Lived Experience.”

Part one is “Destiny” in which she first describes “Biological Data”, the relationship of the ovum to sperm in all kinds of creatures fish, insects mammals. Then Beauvoir proceeds to the human being, comparing the physiology of men and women and saying that women are weaker than men for example, in muscular strength, with fewer red blood cells and a lesser respiratory capacity.

Part two is “History” in which Beauvoir describes two factors explaining the evolution of women’s condition participation in production and freedom from reproductive slavery. She describes man’s gradual domination of women and eventually the opinion of ancient Greeks like Pythagoras who wrote: –

             “There is a good principle
                          that created order, light
                         and man, and a bad
                         principal that created
                         chaos  darkness and
                         women.”

 She also examines the spread of birth control methods and the history of abortion.

Part Three is “Myths” Simone also writes about women’s menstruation, virginity, and female sexuality including copulation, marriage, motherhood, and prostitution. In mythological literature “women are considered as Goddess”. Still, women have to fight with this society for their rights to which only they have the right. Arthur Rimbaud writes hopefully “One day, women can become fully human beings when a man gives her freedom.” Simone also quoted:

“Her wings are cut and
             then she is blamed for
             not knowing how to fly.”

            In the second volume “Lived Experience”, Beauvoir analyses how girls are typically treated throughout their childhood. She contrasts a girl’s upbringing with a boy who at age 3 or 4 is told she is a “little girl”. A girl is taught to be a woman and “Feminine”. Simone described that females only get dignity in only two works 1st is in household work and 2nd one is to provide bed service to their husbands according to their mood.

Women are always expected to be passive and submissive while men are encouraged to be active. The day when it will be possible  for the woman to love in her strength and not love in her strength and not in her weakness, not to escape from herself but to find herself, not out of resignation but to affirm herself, love will become for her as for man the source of life and not a mortal danger.”

Conclusion

            Thus, in the early 20th century, women’s political, social, and economic choices in France were limited due to patriarchal dominance, in almost all aspects of life and business, including the publishing industry. Despite these challenges, de  Beauvoir’ were able to break through these challenges, especially with a book such as “The Second Sex”.

            Although the book “The Second Sex” received much criticism from notable literary figures, the book also praises and supports many others and most importantly women within the feminist movement. Beauvoir’s book played an important role in the second wave of the “Feminist Movement”, especially after being published in the United States.

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