Gender Expectation in Romeo and Juliet

Categories: PowerRomeo And Juliet

Gender bias is natural in a lot of families. Gender expectations were different during William Shakespeare’s time. Each family’s upbringing affected their outlooks because of gender expectations causing the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

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Female gender expectations affected the families’ outlooks. “Only fools hold on to their virginity. Let it go.” Said Romeo Montague in act two, scene two of the play, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. This shows that Romeo viewed Juliet as an object. This means that women were not equal to men.

“It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Rise up, beautiful sun, and kill the jealous moon.” said Romeo in act two, scene two. During this time most people were geocentric which means they thought everything revolved around the Earth. This means Romeo was saying Juliet’s world should evolve around him. These pieces of evidence show that female gender expectations were present in Romeo and Juliet.

Male gender expectations were also apparent in Romeo and Juliet. “I’ll conjure him as if I were summoning a spirit. Romeo! Madman! Passion! Lover! Show yourself in the form of a sigh. Speak one rhyme, and I’ll be satisfied. Just cry out, “Ah me!” Just say “love” and “dove.” Say just one lovely word to my good friend Venus” Mercutio said in act two, scene two. He was making fun of Romeo for being in love. This means that men were not supposed to fall so deeply in love. “Oh, he’s acting just like Juliet, just like her.

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Oh painful sympathy! What a pitiful problem! She’s lying on the ground just like him, blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering. Stand up. Stand up. Stand up if you’re really a man.” Said Nurse in act three, scene three. This shows that Romeo is crying like a woman. This means men were not supposed to cry in public. These pieces of evidence shows that male gender expectations were also present in Romeo and Juliet.

Women of noble status during this time period were often married off to other families. “Girls younger than she often marry and become happy mothers.” This evidence shows that girls are married off at a young age. The evidence also shows that girls are also married off to have children. “Your face is mine, and you have slandered it.” This evidence shows that women who are married off don’t have the rights that women have today. This evidence also shows that women are not equal to men during this time period.

Men and women are described differently in this time period. “She outshines the other women like a white dove in the middle of a flock of crows.” This shows that women are described by beauty. “Your love says, like an honorable gentleman, who is courteous, kind, handsome, and, I believe, virtuous— where is your mother?” This shows that men are described by both their appearance and personality.

In Romeo and Juliet there are modern day gender expectations. “Leave me alone. I’ll pretend to be the housewife for once.” This show that men can do the housework and tend to the children. Modern day men also like to be left alone to do their work. This can be proven wrong and used as a mockery as he uses the words “pretend to be the housewife for once.” Men have not wanted to be bothered by women throughout history. Because of each family’s upbringing they had different gender expectations. During Shakespeare’s time expectations were different for each gender. Gender expectations were and are still a taught family custom.

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Gender Expectation in Romeo and Juliet. (2021, Sep 20). Retrieved from

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