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Gender Relations In Shakespeare´S Romeo And Juliet

1120 words - 5 pages

Romeo and Juliet has different roles for different genders. During the Shakespearean period, when Shakespeare writes, most women had to marry when they were teen, when they were in adolescence or even before. However, the men who they were marrying were in their early to late twenties. In the household that the women lived in, the men basically owned them. The women always followed men’s word, which says that the male was the dominant gender of the society. Romeo and Juliet reflects this in a number of ways. Juliet was forced to marry Paris, by the word of her father, who said that if she did not marry Paris, she would go to the streets(Shakespeare, 3.5.154-62). Women were thought to be weaker and less important than men in Romeo and Juliet because men are trying to be the strongest out of everyone, women have a lower social status, and men think they owned women in Romeo and Juliet.
Men in Romeo and Juliet want to be the strongest out of everyone. They think they are becoming stronger because of their attempt to be men. This is called masculinity. According to Appelbaum, masculinity says to reach a certain goal which one has set(Appelbaum, 251). In Romeo and Juliet, masculinity is largely prominent. As Romeo is about to commit suicide, Friar Laurence scolds him, saying “Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art. Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote the unreasonable fury of a beast. Unseemly woman in a seeming man”(Shakespeare, 3.2.18). In essence, Friar Laurence is asking Romeo if he is a man, and saying he is acting like a woman in the form of a man. Friar Laurence is scolding Romeo for not acting like a man, or following masculinity. The men in Romeo and Juliet are trying to get to a goal, but sometimes it is impossible to obtain said goal and would result in death (Appelbaum, 252).When Mercutio fights Tybalt, Mercutio knows that he is going to die. However, Mercutio accepts Tybalt’s challenge against Romeo anyway, even though the challenge is not directed to him. He wanted to protect Romeo. Mercutio fighting Tybalt is one of the many times that the Montagues and the Capulets fought. The men in the rivaling families fight because of a long, unknown rivalry against each other. In the beginning of the play, there is a fight because Capulet and Montague servants meet on the streets. While Samson, the Capulet servant, and Gregory, the Montague servant, lash insults at each other before the fight, Gregory says “[Because you will take the wall] shows thee a weak slave, for the weakest goes to the wall.”(Shakespeare, 1.1.14-5). This is followed by Samson saying, “‘Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall.”(Shakespeare, 1.1.16-9). Gregory is saying that, because you are a weak slave, you will be left behind and pushed even farther back. Samson is replies, saying this is true, and this means women, who are weaker, will be pushed the farthest back. These quotations show that because of men...

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