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Morality in the Elizabethan Era

VICTORIAN MORALITY Values and morals of the Victorian era are quite different than those that our society upholds today. The satirical plays, A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, and Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw, examine the problems with certain beliefs held by the people, both men and women, of the Victorian age. Furthermore, the people in general didn’t not just hold certain morals, but the different classes in the Victorian society also held their own beliefs on moral code. Of which, the middle class beliefs are most closely examined in both plays. Men and women were expected by others in Victorian society to uphold certain moral behaviors. These expectations caused many problems for the individual that upheld them by limiting their behavior, and overshadowing how the person really thinks he or she should act or what he or she really believes. Men in the Victorian era were anticipated by women and other men to do certain things that would ‘qualify’ them to be an accomplished masculine figure. The first ‘requirement’ is that the man must support and protect his woman. In A Doll’s House Torvald, Nora’s husband, most definitely feels his obligation to protect his wife, whether she likes it or not. "Do you know, Nora, I have often wished that you might be threatened by some great danger, so that I might risk my life’s blood, and everything, for your sake"(Ibsen 58). Torvald hopes that one day he will be able to show his manly and virtuous side by protecting his wife, most likely so he will be praised for it. Torvald also feels that his woman must be protected because she most definitely cannot fend for herself. "Aha! so my obstinate little woman is obliged to get someone to come to her rescue?" (Ibsen 27). This is the exact, narrow-minded view many Victorian men displayed. Also, in Pygmalion men have the obligation to protect women. This time the women are seen expecting the man to ...

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