Essay On Gender Roles In Romeo And Juliet

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“People share a common nature but are trained in gender roles.” - Lillie Devereux Blake on the topic of gender roles. In Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare explores the different roles that each gender is assigned, and sometimes he even breaks them. Romeo and Juliet is about two lovers from two families who are at war with each other. The two meet at a party and it was love at first sight, and they hide their relationship from their families and consistently secretly meet up. The book is about their struggle with trying to make peace between the families through their relationship, rather than breaking them apart. Throughout the book many characters show the gender stereotypes at the time. The first example of this is seen through Capulet, Juliet’s father. This can be seen when he meets Paris, and…show more content…
The first example is in act 1, scene 4 when she is talking to Lady Capulet. In this conversation Lady Capulet asks the Nurse to call for Juliet, and she while she calls Juliet, she shouts, “Now, by my maidenhead at twelve year old, [...]” (1.4.2). People used to believe that women were only meant for housework, and because the Nurse became a maid at such a young age it shows how she plays into the stereotype. Another example is later in the same scene when she is talking to Juliet. In this conversation, the Nurse is trying to convince Juliet to marry Paris. The Nurse claims that she should get married because “women grow by men” (1.4.101). What she means by this is that women get impregnated by men which means that the only purpose for women (at the time) was to hold the child and raise them, and the fact that the Nurse is agreeing to it shows that she fits into the gender role. This quote also can mean that women grow mentally and become better people when married to men, which also plays into the gender roles because it implies that women need men to become better
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