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Shakespeare/Gender differences in peer relationships


I am taking a psychology class called Peer Relationships, which discusses the peer group as a socializing influence on a child's life.  One of the projects for this class is a "multimedia presentation," in which we are required to show an excerpt from a Shakespeare play, Greek play, or opera that adequately depicts concepts from the topic to which we are assigned.  My topic is sex differences.  In other words, I must find a scene that contrasts the way males and females interact with their friends.  Any ideas?
Thank you

Hi, Jon,

Thanks for calling upon "Allexperts" for sugestions for references to sexism in Shakespeare's works.

I recommend that you study "The Taming of The Shrew" and "The Merchant of Venice" for scenes to use in your multimedia presentation of "Shakespearean Sexism."

Both plays feature strong women who "play" with love.  They show little serious affection in their outward behaviors, yet they seriously hide strong affections inside.
The casket plot is lots of fun---so is the reluctance of Katharina to have anything to do with brash Petruchio.
Katharina and Portia are both bound to make lovemaking a "chore."  They are pressured by their parents to perform in a prescribed manner.
They resent their situations, yet they make the best of their obligations and fare well despite them.

The reason I am not being specific regarding WHICH scenes best depict their predicaments is that I expect that to be YOUR chore, as part of your assignment.  Both are fun plays, so have fun as you demonstrate in your presentation the way ALL the ladies "languish" in their lovemaking.
Petruchio and Katharina
Antonio and Portia
Lorenzo and Jessica
Bassanio and Nerissa

How do THESE male and female characters interact with THEIR peers as they find their romantic partners?

I'll bet that your presentation will garner a smile or THREE!

Best wishes,



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Randy Sus


I`m a retired high school English teacher from central Wisconsin. I taught Shakespeare for years and am very familiar with his writing style, his themes, his sonnets, and most of his plays. I taught Julius Caesar, King Lear, Richard the Third, and A Midsummer Night`s Dream for years. I`ve memorized many of the lines from these plays and I know many sonnets by heart. I`d be glad to respond to questions regarding Shakespeare`s life, works, and times if anyone desired such information.


I have a master's degree in education and I take most pride in having ENJOYED teaching for over 30 years. Not everyone can honestly say that. I coached undefeated high school soccer teams for fun too. I like public relations work and have served on P.R. committees for most of my professional life. I continue to do so in retirement.

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