24/7 writing help on your phone
Most people think that Romeo and Juliet was nothing more than a story of two star crossed lovers caught in between the feud of their families; but actually it is much more than just a simple love story between these two teens. Tons of countless conspiracies about Shakespeare and if Romeo and Juliet really stands for something more than what is just written on the page. Shakespeare uses the play as a filter to express his sexuality secretly due to his society’s reaction to such actions since being a homosexual was looked down upon and / or unexcepted during this time.
Shakespeare is one of those writers who always has more than just one meaning or way of looking into something he says or writes and with this he has more of an opportunity to disguise the true meaning behind his writing. Shakespeare first hints at his sexuality in the very first act when Juliet was being introduced to the fact of her marrying Paris.
As said in the play, “I’ll look to lie if looking liking move. But no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly”. Within this quote from the play Juliet is saying that she will look at Paris but won’t like him unless there is something to like and she will not fall for him more than her parent’s permission allows. Shakespeare is hinting at sexuality through this by wording this in such a way that it seems as if Juliet is rejecting Paris’ proposal because she not only doesn’t like him but there seems as if there is so much more behind her reasoning which would spark suspicion since Juliet had just met Paris she shouldn’t have such a grudge to not be married to him.
Also it is strange because she is even more against the thought of being married to Paris since it is in her parent’s permission or consent especially during this time and age in history where females Juliet’s age were already married with children, this seemed very odd not to be married or want to be married at her age and even more so makes it seem as if Juliet seeks love outside of her parent’s consent. In addition to that thought another example of Shakespeare hinting at his sexuality in scene five of the play where Romeo and Juliet meet,” thus from my lips, by thine, sin is purged…Sin from my lips! O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again”. Within this scene Romeo and Juliet pursue such acts where appropriate / acceptable and in such actions called it a sin which further implies that this such action was not supposed to happen.
Its as if Shakespeare is almost telling a story of what he has gone through or just simply giving an example of what happened with two homosexuals just played as the story of Romeo and Juliet to disguise the true meaning of the play. The way he writes the play saying that what the two of them were doing proves that it wasn’t excepted which goes along with the conspiracy as well indicating that this such action was wrong even though it was a simple act of love which ties into how homosexuality was not excepted during his time and the parts of the scene and further into the play where they had to sneak off to even speak to one another showing that even the two of them being together would stir up great amounts of trouble. Even the prologue itself shows how the act of both Romeo and Juliet wasn’t meant to be by any means and them being together in such acts brought violence and death. Shakespeare shows numerous accounts of questionable examples of his sexuality with in the very first scene alone.
Shakespeare shows even more examples regarding the conspiracies of his sexuality in act two scene two when Romeo and Juliet meet again,” Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny my father and refuse thy name”. In this scene Juliet is confessing her love for Romeo and wishing they weren’t who their names / labels say they are so that they could be together. More or less saying that because of who they are they can not be together which would in fact get the reader’s attention and make them think why this is so. This ties into the conspiracies because in this scene both characters wish to not be who they are so that they can be with one another after both confessing their love. This would more than likely be a reaction or situation for a homosexual since they could not be with their partner since it was unacceptable in society of Shakespeare’s day and age. To add on to that thought a quote from act two scene four states: “Is your man secret? Did you ne’er hear say, “two may keep counsel, putting one away”?”. In this scene Romeo is conversating with Juliet’s nurse telling her about the secret arrangements he has made for him and Juliet. This scene relates back to the topic because in this scene the characters are keeping these events of Romeo and Juliet being together a secret because they know how people on the outside would react if they knew of these events and would cause great amounts of trouble involving death amongst both Romeo and Juliet and anyone who helps them conceive such actions. These actions would further lead to punishment even execution for a homosexual or anyone involved during the medieval time period as said in “History of Christianity and homosexuality”:” Although homosexuality was not considered a major offense during the early Roman Empire, homosexual encounters and homosexual behavior came to be viewed as unacceptable as Christianity developed.”, and information also from Wikipedia; ”by at least the twelfth century, Homosexuality was considered sodomy and was punishable by death…in 1307 accusations of homosexuality and sodomy were major charges leveled during the Trial of the Knights Templar”. This shows why Shakespeare would word the play the way he did not just because of how society reacts to homosexuality but also because he would have to keep his sexuality a secret as well.
Further examples of homosexuality and/or how his society reacts to signs of homosexuality are in act three. In act three scene three Romeo has hid at the Friar’s cell after being banished from Verona; the nurse comes and delivers news to Romeo but he is acting so emotional that both nurse and the friar question his manliness. “Stand up, Stand up, stand an you be a man, for Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand”. In this the nurse is telling Romeo not just to be a man but be a man for Juliet, the nurse is basically telling Romeo to be a man since he isn’t acting like one and bashing him for it since he is supposed to be manly. This shows how people reacted when a person was acting outside of their particular gender role. To add on to that is another section from act three scene three when Friar Lawrence was also bashing Romeo for not acting as a man should. “Art thou a man? Thy from cries out thou art. Thy tears are womanish…unseemly woman in a seeming man, and I’ll be seeming beast in seeming both!”. This shows how Romeo was being called a woman for being emotional and also how the friar was bashing Romeo saying how he’s acting like a woman but looks like a man or an ugly creature who’s half man half beast. The evidence provided gives the reader a look on how people were treated for acting outside of their gender role or more or less how society treated people who acted gay or how society reacted to such actions.
Within act four Shakespeare shows brief elements regaurding the topic but those that I could find were act four scene one when Juliet goes to visit Friar and ask for advice of what she should do about being married to Paris, In this scene she meets Paris again and he ask her if she is coming to see the Friar for confession. Juliet’s answer is nothing but bold and obvious that it is not what Paris thinks she really means. As said in act four:” I will confess to you that I love him”, In this section Juliet is straight up telling Paris that she loves someone else. Shakespeare could’ve been using this as a way to express how he feels about his life since he was married but allegedly had an affair and feelings for other men. This ties together because Juliet is telling the person who she is supposed to be with, love, and marry that she loves someone else and that someone is someone who she isn’t supposed to even be with. Throughout the whole play Shakespeare disguises and just leaves things out in the open but all while keeping his meaning hidden from the audience.
While some might say Shakespeare wasn’t homosexual others think otherwise. Yes, Shakespeare was married with children but this doesn’t mean that he was or wasn’t a homosexual. Shakespeare did have an affair with another woman while being away from his family , the woman was an actress and even helped inspire Shakespeare in his writing of Romeo and Juliet -giving him some of his best lines. On the other hand there have been sonnets found that Shakespeare was talking of his love for men (as in sonnet 129) and even (sonnet 20) which speaks of the physical love or interaction with him and a male. Romeo and Juliet isn’t the only play that Shakespeare has written homosexual events in others such as Twelfth Night, The merchant of Venice, and Troilus and Cressida. Shakespeare did in fact like woman so he is neither hetero nor homosexual but he is in fact a bisexual.
In conclusion it can be said that Shakespeare used the play Romeo and Juliet as a filter for expressing his sexuality without it being known by society. Shakespeare has always been a great writer not just because of how captivating his writing is but also because he is such an influence on writing itself and nothing is ever what it seems. Even though Shakespeare wrote some of his plays or sonnets with homosexual intentions in them doesn’t take away the art and understanding of his writing , you can always look at any piece of writing from Shakespeare from any point of view and it would still make since which is why he is was and forever will a great ,mysterious , dramatic, totally captivating writer.
👋 Hi! I’m your smart assistant Amy!
Don’t know where to start? Type your requirements and I’ll connect you to an academic expert within 3 minutes.get help with your assignment