One of the best examples of the limitations of gender roles occurs after Hero is denounced. Beatrice is despondent that she, as a woman, can not challenge Claudio for what he has done. She wants to act out her rage at the injustice but her position as a woman and her weaker physical form limits her from doing so. Here is the exchange between herself and Benedick:
Is there any way to show such friendship?
A very even way, but no such friend.
May a man do it?
It is a man's office, but not yours.
Is Claudio thine enemy?
Is he not approved in the height a villain, that
hath slandered, scorned, dishonoured my kinswoman? O
that I were a man! What, bear her in hand until they
come to take hands; and then, with public
accusation, uncovered slander, unmitigated...
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