Romeo And Juliet Gender Analysis

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Within the Elizabethan time period, gender roles are often challenged by the inequality that surrounds them. Today, society views inequality as a big deal and many people fight to make sure that everyone is respected equally. However, the Elizabethan society viewed these issues much differently by showing little or no interest at all. Shakespeare uses gender inequality to his advantage within Romeo and Juliet by using many tools such as irony to further elaborate on this idea. To continue, it is shown early within the play that society, family, and history affect the actions that many of these characters are forced to make. However, it is shown throughout the play that Romeo and Juliet, male and female, are the ones that are affected the most…show more content…
Although, Shakespeare challenges the idea of whom a man truly is by pushing the flaws that Romeo is often characterized by and allowing the reader to determine if he would actually be considered a man in this society. His impulsiveness and women-like characteristics represent him as a character that makes decisions without knowing the consequences and in addition shows his carelessness in the sense of his masculinity. Robert Appelbaum further elaborates on this idea by stating that “masculinity is not a single thing [Romeo] can get a hold of, although [he] [is] constantly pressured to do so”. For example, when the Nurse finds Romeo “blubbering and weeping” she tells him to “stand an you be a man” and then further goes on to explain that he must “for [Juliet’s] sake, rise and stand” in which he eventually rises (3.3.87-89). Friar Laurence then speaks to Romeo and speaks that his “tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote” and further states he’s “unseemly woman in a seeming man” (3.3.109-112). These scenes only add to the idea that Romeo, a man, is going against the expectations of society by crying. These actions would not only disgrace the family name, if seen in public, but would label Romeo incapable of dealing with emotions which is exactly what Shakespeare attempts to prove. In collaboration with this statement, although a woman would still be ridiculed for their incapacity to handle their emotions, a man would feel a much greater effect due to their role in the

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