Shakespeare: Gender and Gulick Essay

Submitted By mariasrich423
Words: 785
Pages: 4

Gulick, Sidney L., Jr. “Was “Shakespeare” a Woman?” College English 15.8 (May, 1954): 445-449. JSTORE. Web. 6 Mar. 2013

Gulick’s essay provides evidence that Shakespeare had to be a woman. Gulick is right! Who was the woman behind Shakespeare? That should be the question of concern because Gulick’s evidence proves Shakespeare is a woman. As a man, Gulick provided truth to the idiom, “it takes one to know one” and highly doubted the masculinity of Shakespeare’s works. Shakespeare lived from 1564-1616, meaning all but the last 13 years of his life were lived during the Elizabethan period (1558-1603). The Elizabethan period was a time where religion was richly saturated, science and technology roared, and the entertainment in arts and theatre lacked women. Shakespeare lived the drama and tragedies of woman and put it into his works. It is only true to believe that the women in her works were outlets to project her true feelings in a male conquered culture.

How could a man possibly write about strong and powerful men in society and make them inferior to women’s thought and actions? Gulick wrote, “There is no question that in “Shakespeare’s” plays women are portrayed not only as better than men but as more intelligent too. Let us face the matter squarely: Would a man thus betray his kind?” (Gulick 446). The question that Gulick raised is valid for either side of the argument and will prove Shakespeare was a woman because a man during that time period would not praise, uplift, or intensify the intelligence of a woman during those times. If Shakespeare was a man, then the question furthers Sigmund Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of the Oedipus complex. Saying, Shakespeare did not successfully complete that stage of psychoanalysis. Oedipus was a character of Greek mythology that Shakespeare would have known and learned about. Gulick used the operative word “betray”, which bluntly expressed Shakespeare’s envy of women’s powerful influence during a time when women did not have an abundant existence in writing. And if Shakespeare was a woman, then she writes from her own perspective.

If Shakespeare was a man then the Oedipus complex mixed with conditioned religious procedures led Shakespeare’s female characters to have power because they owned the most prized possession in the world, a vagina. Either Shakespeare had a vagina or wanted one. A woman has the ability to give birth and men also come through that birth passage. Gulick’s research reassures, the male reader, that they would not be in existence without a woman. A woman’s virginity was also important because she held the passage to life. The argument that men are the more powerful beings because of their aggressive behavior does not mean that women are weaker. Women skillfully devise plans to have their message delivered in a more intellectual way using the men around them as their pawns.

Since Shakespeare is a woman, she acknowledges the powerful presence of femininity through her characters, semantics in her works, and her writing style. This writing style was so advanced that a woman of that time may