Role of Gender in William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

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Everyone in the literary world is familiar with Shakespeare's two “star-crossed lovers” Romeo and Juliet. Their love story, doomed by fate and feuding families has been an inspiration to many other literary works, movies and even music. Yet it is unknown what makes these couple’s story to popular and interesting across the globe. Is it their youth, their love of first sight quickly followed by their terrific death, the tragic events that lead to their demise, or a mixture of possibilities? One aspect of the play that causes an image in the reader' mind and has a profound impact is the exquisite language of Shakespeare. The language gives each character a distinct personality and character; each character has a different sense of humor, wit and love. Shakespeare’s words show society in Verona, different beliefs, values, and behaviors in both men and women are present in his play. The main characters of the play, Romeo and Juliet, are even affected by these beliefs and value, but mainly role of gender. Men in Verona are violent, sexual dominant, and take priority in deciding what happens or doesn’t happen. Every action they take is an expression of showing to the other men how dominant and powerful they are. The men choose violence as their first choice of solving their problems for example: in the opening scene, the Capulets and Montagues get into a brawl for no apparent reason other than their long feud. The two noble families do not get along well particularly due to the feud between them, the Capulets and the Montagues. During their first brawl, on of the servants of the Capulets, Sampson, states: “’Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall; therefore I will push Montague’s men from the... ... middle of paper ... ... “If that thy bent of love be honorable, thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow” (2.2.143-144). Juliet’s mind is obsessed with sexual thoughts more than a woman of her time. Her thoughts are portrayed as words times before they marry, “O, I have bought the mansion of a love, but not possess’d it, and though I am sold, not yet enjoy’d. So tedious is this day” (3.2.26-28). Juliet defies her parents many times when they are attempting to marry her with Paris. She hastily disagrees with them eventhough she is not supposed to. At the end of the play, Romeo becomes very heartbroken and feels great melancholy as he is seeing his beloved lying cold in the tomb and takes his life with poison, a method of suicide mostly committed by females. Juliet, upon seeing her husband dead, stabs herself with Romeo’s dagger in a violent manner reflecting her masculine personality.
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