1. What are the politics of kneeling in these plays by Shakespeare?
2. How do the acts of kneeling and other similar actions express submission and power?
3. What does this sort of theme add to the plot of these plays?
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1. I deem the politics of kneeling in these plays by Shakespeare as highly indicative of the unequal power dynamics within society that existed educationally, politically, sexually, emotionally, socially, and economically between men and women within his play's settings, as sexual and gender power imbalances definitely permeate many of the characters and plots of his plays. Within Julius Caesar, for example, it is evident that Roman life is patriarchal as women are merely objects, as demonstrated through the treatment of Portia and Calpurnia.
Despite Calpurnia's prophecy, she is dismissed by Caesar based on her alleged "weak" gender and treated as nonsensical as Caesar chastises her: "How foolish do your fears seem now, Calphurnia! I am ashamèd I did yield to them. Give me my robe, for I will go" (2.2.110-112).
The notion that men have to display overt brawn to sustain their superior status in society is echoed in Caesar's famous speech, "Cowards die many times before their deaths; The valiant never taste of death but once. Of all the wonders that I yet have heard/It seems to me most ...
An informal discussion with some textual evidence is presented briefly in 800 words to depict how themes of gender dynamics and submission resonate within Shakespeare's Julius Caesar and Hamlet.