Gender Appropriate Roles In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

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In “Romeo and Juliet”, Shakespeare takes time to analyze gender appropriate roles and their impact; both positive and negative on society. In this play, Shakespeare has created three vastly different male characters: Romeo, Mercutio and Tybalt. To be able to further the thesis, character analysis as well as their impact is essential. Beginning with the plays main male character, Romeo, he is first introduced into the story as a young heartbroken man as Rosaline as just shattered his heart and apparently caused him to be severely depressed. (“Give me a torch, I am not for this ambling. Being but heavy I will bear the light”, “Not I believe me, you have dancing shoes with nimble soles. I have a soul of lead so stakes me to the ground I cannot…show more content…
Of course, Mercutio takes this news as a sign of weakness and feels like his masculine side is fading away as he gives himself to Juliet and explains that he is foolish and chides him for being too girly and emasculated by the love he has for her. With that thought still fresh in Romeos head, when Romeo sees Mercutio fall to the hands of Tybalt, a man who Mercutio openly deemed to be too girlish and feminine, he becomes angry with himself and begins to question who he has become since he met Juliet. (“Thy beauty hath made me effeminate , “And in my temper softn’d valors steel” (III 117, 167)) In addition to his inner self hatred at this point, everyone else begins to criticize and size up Romeos masculinity, including the holy friar, who assumedly would be fairly accepting of his followers, telling him he’s being “an unseemingly woman in a seeming man” and calls his tears “’womanish” ( III- 109, 111) This in turn could have been a factor in sealing the theme of fate in the story. Most likely, these events and these people all telling Romeo that he is feminine and weak, caused him to lash out and kill Tybalt in vengeance to assert his masculinity, almost primitively, resulting in his banishment from Verona, and therefore, his messenger could not get to him in time to let him know of Juliet’s plan, resulting in both of their deaths. This could easily be seen as the butterfly effect when a seemingly insignificant event, leads to a series of significant

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