Why weren't women allowed to act in Shakespeare's time?
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theatre people were thought of as low class...really low class. I don't know if that's why but I'm sure that it's a contributing figure. Plus, where would you find these women. Back then, a woman would be busy taking care of the household and such. If I'm not mistaken most of the actors of that time were bachelors. It was unheard of for a woman to be single, and if she was she was working full time as a maid or governess.
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They simply weren't allowed to. It was seen as wrong and many theatres considered a woman on the stage to be bad luck for the company. That's why the men played the female characters, young boys being chosen for these roles because of their higher voices and appearances. It could be quite confusing when cross dressing appeared in some of his plays, such as Twelfth Night, as you'd have a man playing a woman pretending to be a man. Women's rights were quite poor and restricted back then, and their position was often touched upon in many of his plays - hence the cross dressing as their appearance as males gave the female characters a lot more respect and higher positions with opportunities to go further.
If you're interested in this area, I'd recommend a book called 'The Shakespearian Stage' by Andrew Gurr. It concentrates on how plays were performed, how the stages and playhouses were run, and the actors themselves.
in a nutshell it was during a time where women could not vote, earnt less than men therefore the thought of a woman having attention or power of a performer was also on the list of things they were not allowed to do
Because in sheakspeare's time they thought womens only rights were to care for the men, cook, and have sex.
Because basic humanity was poor and poorer the farther you go back in history. Some say we are living in the end times today, but the way I see it is that in many places in the world we shattering past barriers of human rights. In the old days only the strong, rich, and powerful had rights. The times they are a changing.
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