What are the examples of Elizabethan type of women in Shakespeare?I understand what is meant by "Elizabethan woman", but which of the Shakespear's female characters fit best into that cocept?

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Lori Steinbach eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The Elizabethan woman was much less of a presence both in a marraige and in society than today's women.  She was generally subservient first to her father and brothers (and any other male adults) and next to her husband.  She was proficient at her domestic tasks, such as sewing and cooking, and she learned to be content in whatever capacity she was allowed.  Shakespeare's leading ladies were not generally these kinds of women.  I can think of one, Lady Capulet in Romeo and Juliet.  She, however, is not a primary character in that play.

Katherine (Kate) in The Taming of the Shrew is the closest to the picture of a classic Elizabethan woman, despite her ranting and raving.  She is certainly subservient to her father's wishes for her, and he virtually forces upon her the ruffian Petruchio.  He treats her with a heavy hand, oppressing her at every moment--all according to his plan, of course.  In a delicious twist of irony, Shakespeare turns the tables on this relationship and Kate becomes an equal partner in their marriage.  Until then though, she is probably an example of what an Elizabethan woman had to endure--even though she did so with a very atypical independence of spirit.