KEY THEME GENDER

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  • KEY THEME GENDER
    • Defying Gender Expectations-Juliet:
      • Sexual:
        • Juliet is is also the one who talks about her excitement for their physical relationship after marriage( surprising thing for her to do as women were not supposed to be very sexual. For women, sex was a necessity and not something they should enjoy or want.
        • After they are married, Juliet complains that she has"brought the mansion of love but not possess'd it"-that she has married Romeo but they have not yet consummated their marriage by having sex.
        • The young male characters in the play tend to talk more about sex.Romeo does not really, Juliet does.
      • Masculine death
        • Juliet takes Romeo's dagger and stabs herself(which is violent and courageous and linked with masculinity).
      • Masculine role in relationship:
        • Juliet takes on the more masculine role in her relationship with Romeo.
        • Although Romeo tell Juliet he loves her, Juliet is the one who proposed the idea of marriage:"if that thy bent of love be honourable, thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow.
        • This goes against social expectations for women would not normally be the one to take control of any romantic relationship.
        • Men would start the relationship and propose marriage.
      • Refuses to marry Paris:
        • Juliet's parents expect her to go from their home(where they expect her to do as she is told)straight to marriage an her new husbands's home(where she would be expected to obey her husband, produce children for him).
        • But Juliet goes against her society's expectations and refuses to marry Paris the man her parents want her to marry.
    • Defying Gender Expectations- Romeo:
      • Feminine traits:
        • Shakespeare presents Romeo as a man with feminine traits.
        • Shakespeare presents him as lovesick and romantic right from the start because he uses a lot of poetry to express himself. Romance and love seems to take up his thoughts, unlike his friends.
        • When Romeo meets Juliet, he constantly talks about her being above him and how much he worships her. He refers to her as an "angel", a"saint" and as belonging in"heaven"
        • In a patriarchal society, we would expect Romeo to be dominant in the relationship. But Romeo plays the more submissive(allowing someone else to control)role here and adores and worships Juliet.
      • Romeo-family name controversy:
        • Even though Juliet brings up the idea of either Romeo or herself denying"thy father and refuse they name". It is Romeo who says "i will never be Romeo" if she loves him.
        • At this time, in a male-dominant society, this would have been very controversial as Romeo goes against tradition and offers to turn away from his own family(women would always give up their own name to marry a man).
      • Womanly death:
        • When they commit suicide, Romeo sees Juliet dead and take poison(which is traditionally seen as a less painful, more feminine from of suicide).
    • Women in the Elizabethan Era:
      • Women in the Elizabethan era were thought of as inferior and weak minded their purpose was to obey their husbands or fathers, get married, produce children and look attractive.

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