Romeo And Juliet: Gender Roles In The Elizabethan Era

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In Romeo and Juliet, societal beliefs in the Elizabethan era concerning gender roles are inaccurate due to the numerous paradoxes within those views, and conflicting character traits that label a character ‘female’ or ‘male’. For one, women were viewed as very sexual beings, who were irrational and immoral as they were supposedly easily seduced. Yet, it is women who were suppose to be virgins before marriage, and viewed ‘dirty’ by people if she was not. Men, in contrast, were perceived as rational and virtuous and made of goodwill. Due to this, women were often seen as ‘threatening’ to men. However, men were allowed to do whatever they wished before marriage, and often were the ones sleeping about as they were not judged harshly like women were. The roles between males and females in the Elizabethan era were wrong in many ways. Men were seen as powerful and rational, and often thinks things through thoroughly, and women as irrational and quick to act. In the play, however, there were many instances where the male characters showed more ‘feminine’ traits then the women. For example, a man is suppose to be in control of himself and be rational, but Tybalt has shown many times over that he does not think of the consequences of his actions, and would…show more content…
Men in Romeo and Juliet showed stereotypical feminine character traits, and women in turn showed masculine character traits. The standards for women were not applied to men, and yet men were the ones to break those standards that were held for the opposite gender. To put traits on one specific gender is often wrong because a gender does not specify an individual's personality, and no one is the same. The societal beliefs that surround the two genders were skewed, and Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is a prime
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