Can Nature, Nurture, and Gender Be Blamed for Romeo and Juliet's Tragic End?

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Watch out, because society, believe it or not, can have a major impact on people’s choices without them realizing. “Romeo and Juliet”, a play on the casualties of romance, written by William Shakespeare, “Nature vs. Nurture” by Sigmund Freud, “4 Types of Parenting Styles and Their Effects on Kids: What’s Your Parenting Style?” by Amy Morin, “One Reason Teens Respond Differently to the World: Immature Brain Circuitry” by FRONTLINE producer Sarah Spinks, and “Developing brain connections make teenagers impatient and immature” by Hannah Osborne.

People’s nature, nurture, and gender are the reason they died because people’s upbringing affects the choices they make, leading to many deaths and accusations as to who is to blame.

To start off, what Juliet knew, what she learned in life, and her gender play a significant role in her death. For nature, page 80, line 33-36 says, “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny they father and refuse thy name. Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

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” (Shakespeare). Also, “Nature is what we think of as pre-wiring and is influenced by genetic inheritance and other biological factors.”(Nature vs. Nurture). The family feud is caused by nature, or genetic inheritance, hating each other is all they’ve ever known so they continue to do it without any reason other than their parents did the same thing.

Their families hate for each other played a LARGE part in Romeo and Juliet’s suicide, mainly because they had to keep their relationship a secret, and if they were able to tell people without being discriminated for it, Romeo wouldn’t have thought Juliet was dead, and he wouldn’t have died, and both would’ve lived.

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For nurture, page 44, line 99-101 says, “I’ll look to like if looking liking move. But no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly.” (Shakespeare). Here, Juliet is stating that she knows she doesn’t want to marry a stranger nor so early in her life. “The Authoritarian Parent-sets many rules and closely monitors but offers little support. “You’ll do as I say.” (Morin). She grew up with strict parents (authoritarian parents) so many things that they chose for her she would immediately dislike, simply because they wanted it. Juliet’s parents liked to tell her what to do without caring about her opinion. Also, why does she not want to marry one minute, but then the next want to marry Romeo?

Maybe because when her parents set her up with Paris, she only saw him as something else her parents chose for her life. But when she met Romeo, she got to choose to be with him, and maybe the thought of being able to choose a partner for herself was intriguing. But it got out of hand with no one really to stop her, so rash decisions were made, like her killing herself because someone she knew for a few hours was dead. For gender, page 58, line 14-31 says, “Welcome, gentlemen! Ladies that have their toes Ah, my mistresses! Which of you all unplagued with corns will walk a bout with you.– Will now deny to dance? She that makes dainty, she, I’ll swear, hath corns. Am I come near ye now?– Welcome, gentlemen! I have seen the day that I have worn a visor and could tell a whispering tale in a fair lady’s ear such as would please. ‘Tis gone, ‘tis gone, ‘tis gone.– You are welcome, gentlemen.–Come, musicians, play. (music plays and they dance) A hall, a hall, give room!–And foot it girls.– More light, you knaves!

And turn the tables up, and quench the fire. The room is grown too hot.– Ah, sirrah, this unlooked-for sport comes well.– Nay, sit, nay, sit, good cousin Capulet, For you and I are past our dancing days. How long is ’t now since last yourself and I were in a mask?” (Shakespeare). Women are supposed to dance for men’s pleasure and aren’t really seen as anything else other than someone to have kids with. So, when Juliet found her only love dead one thought of hers was probably that she didn’t have much to live for because that’s what she was taught/ her gender role. She was told to just look pretty and that taught her that she as a person had little value, which is demeaning to her, which explains why she so immediately killed herself. This is how people’s upbringing, natural traits, and gender affect people’s decisions in their everyday life.

Similarly, what Romeo knew, what he learned in life, and his gender play a significant role in his death. For nature, page 32, line 58-63 says, “‘God ‘i’ good e’en. I pray, sir, can you read?’ ‘Ay, mine own fortune in my misery.’ ‘Perhaps you have learned it without book. But I pray, can you read anything you see?’ ‘Ay, if I know the letters and the language.’ ‘Ye say honestly. Rest you merry.’” (Shakespeare). Romeo seems to have a very light/carefree/joking personality when he’s not depressed about Rosaline, so the fact that he was carefree/rash, backs up the reason why he irrationally bought poison the moment he thought Juliet was dead, without thinking to investigate further about the matter. It also makes sense that he was irrational because he’s a teen. “There are numerous studies showing impulsivity in adolescents and this often results in them partaking in high-risk behavior.

This correlates with accidents from alcohol or drug use, or increases to accident and emergency departments.” (Osborne). Romeo bought poison the moment he heard Juliet was dead, not even thinking to consult anyone else, which is proving Ms. Osbornes’ point, that teenagers are impulsive, and normally ends up correlating with some sort of drug (in this case poison). For nurture, page 148, line 132 says, “Oh, I am fortune’s fool!” (Shakespeare). He learned about himself the fact that he generates bad luck. This seems to foreshadow his bad luck later when he thinks Juliet’s dead later and kills himself when she isn’t dead. Or maybe he really does have bad luck and that bad luck played a role in his death. For gender, page 136+138, line 1-33 says, “‘I pray thee, good Mercutio, let’s retire.

The day is hot; the Capulets, abroad; and if we meet we shall not ‘scape a brawl, for now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.’ ‘Thou art like one of those fellows that, when he enters the confines of a tavern, claps me his sword upon the table and says, ‘God send me no need of thee!’ and, by the operation of the second cup, draws it on the drawer when indeed there is no need’ ‘Am I like such a fellow?’ ‘Come, come, thou art as hot a Jack in thy mood as any in Italy, and as soon moved to be moody, and as soon moody to be moved.’ ‘And what to?’ ‘Nay, an there were two such, we should have none shortly, for one would kill the other. Thou, why, thou wilt quarrel with a man that hath a hair more or a hair less in his beard than thou hast. Thou wilt quarrel with a man for cracking nuts, having no other reason but because thou hast hazel eyes. What eye but such an eye would spy out such a quarrel? Thy head is as full of quarrels as an egg is full of meat, and yet thy head hath been beaten as addle as an egg for quarreling. Thou hast quarreled with a man for coughing in the street because he hath wakened thy dog that hath lain asleep in the sun.

Didst thou not fall out with a tailor for wearing his new shoes with old ribbon? And yet thou wilt tutor me from quarreling!’ ‘An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee simple of my life for an hour and a quarter.’ ‘The fee simple? O simple!’ Enter Tybalt, Petruchio, and other Capulets ‘By my head, here comes the Capulets.’ ‘By my heel, I care not.’” (Shakespeare). Mercutio and Benvolio were pointing out each other’s flaws like it was nothing, so they’ve easily done the same to or around Romeo. This aura or gender role of boys was created, that they didn’t have much emotion and would point out your flaws. So, when Romeo heard that Juliet was dead, he didn’t have anyone to go to to talk to because his friends would’ve made fun of him, (or they were dead). Resulting in him feeling even more alone which only added to his want to die until he did. So, if his friends had been more sensitive maybe he wouldn’t have killed himself. This explains how someone’s nature, nurture, and gender can impact them so much that it leads to death.

To continue on, what Mercutio knew, what he learned in life, and his gender play a significant role in his death. For nature, page 74, line 7-21 says, “Nay, I’ll conjure too! Romeo! Humours, madam, passion, lover! Appear thou in the likeness of a sigh! Speak but one rhyme, and I am satisfied. Cry but “Ay me!” Pronounce but “love” and “dove.” Speak to my gossip Venus one fair word, One nickname for her purblind son and heir, Young Abraham Cupid, he that shot so true when King Cophetua loved the beggar maid.– He heareth not, he stirreth not, he moveth not. The ape is dead, and I must conjure him.– I conjure thee by Rosaline’s bright eyes, By her high forehead and her scarlet lip, By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, And the demesnes that there adjacent lie, That in thy likeness thou appear to us.” (Shakespeare). Mercutio tries to taunt Romeo (he’s nowhere to be found) by talking about Rosaline and all the pretty things about her, so that he comes out of “hiding”.

Mercutio’s clearly the kind of person to mess with/taunt people, so it was in his nature to do so because it’s something he’s always done, so it makes sense that naturally he would do it to Tybalt to, and all the instigating that seemed harmless to him was annoying enough that Tybalt killed him. For gender, page 50, line 28-33 says, “If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking, and you beat love down.– Give me a case to put my visage in! A visor for a visor.– What care I what curious eye doth cote deformities? Here are the beetle brows shall blush for me.” (Shakespeare). Mercutio tells Romeo that if love is rough with him, to be rough right back, or to, fight back when they push you. This creates a gender role that Mercutio is trying to put on Romeo. “If they shove, shove them back”. Tybalt pushes Mercutio around, and as already stated he’s not going to just accept it, so Mercutio pushes back up until Tybalt kills him. If the gender role of “stubborn and competitive” wasn’t the gender role, he would’ve thought more about what he was doing, and maybe would’ve lived. For nurture, page 104+106, line 18-24 says, “More than Prince of Cats.

Oh, he’s the courageous captain of compliments. He fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and proportion. He rests his minim rests—one, two, and the third in your bosom. The very butcher of a silk button, a duelist, a duelist, a gentleman of the very first house of the first and second cause. Ah, the immortal passado, the punto reverso, the hai!” (Shakespeare). Mercutio demonstrates in this that he’s learned a lot about sword fighting. He talks about the different types of moves that Tybalt knows without actually asking him. So, when he got the chance to fight Tybalt, he thought that since he knew all of Tybalt’s moves, he could beat him. Thinking he knows a lot and no one telling him otherwise has made him egotistical. Which explains why he was so at ease in the conversation before his death. So, his extent or therefore the lack of, knowledge about sword fighting, and egotistical self, paired with his gender role of stubborn and competitive are significant factors of his death.

In addition, what Tybalt knew, what he learned in life, and his gender play a significant role in his death. For nature, page 12, line 66-67 says, “Clubs, bills, and partisans! Strike! Beat them down! Down with the Capulets! Down with the Montagues!” (Shakespeare). The citizens are picking sides (Capulets or Montagues) if the houses didn’t have an ongoing feud then Tybalt wouldn’t have wanted to kill Romeo (for being a Montague and showing up at a Capulet party) but settled for his Montague friend Mercutio. Then Romeo wouldn’t have wanted revenge and wouldn’t have killed Tybalt. If this feud that no one even knows the reason as to why it’s happening didn’t happen, there wouldn’t be any random hate and less would’ve died, including Tybalt. For nurture, page 62, line 51-57 says, “This, by his voice, should be a Montague.– (to his page) Fetch me my rapier, boy.– What, dares the slave come hither, covered with an antic face, to fleer and scorn at our solemnity? Now, by the stock and honor of my kin, to strike him dead I hold it not a sin.” (Shakespeare). He’s learned to have the trait to fight something or someone you dislike.

Most likely because of his parents. If his first reaction wasn’t to fight when he didn’t like something or didn’t get his way, he wouldn’t have come back to Mercutio’s death scene because he “didn’t get to kill Romeo yet”. He would’ve left and not come back, but he was so intent on killing Romeo he didn’t think about the fact that Romeo would be waiting for him, so because of his most likely rigid upbringing, he got cocky about fighting and this time he didn’t get his way, instead he died. For gender, page 10+12, line 59-62 says, “‘What, art thou drawn among these heartless hinds? Turn thee Benvolio. Look upon thy death.’ ‘I do but keep the peace. Put up thy sword, or manage it to part these men with me.’” (Shakespeare). Tybalt assumes Benvolio’s about to fight with the servants, Benvolio explains he’s not. Tybalt fights him anyway. He could also have read Benvolio’s expression wrong considering that teens often do that. “The results surprised the researchers.

The adults correctly identified the expression as fear. Yet the teens answered ‘shocked, surprised, angry.’ And the teens and adults used different parts of their brains to process what they were feeling.” (Spinks) So maybe him reading his expression wrong caused him to fight him. Tybalt also has a gender role of immediately assuming things and jumping into action before he knows the whole story, which leads to his downfall by Romeo who’s revengeful and in pain because of a friend’s death. If Tybalt hadn’t jumped to conclusions about Benvolio’s expression, he would’ve believed him when he asked him to help break up the fight, this and many other characteristics are the reason that he died.

Also, the nurse’s actions played a role in Romeo and Juliet’s death. Page 116, line 108 says, “If you be he, sir, I desire some confidence with you.” (Shakespeare). Here the nurse has gone on a mission for Juliet to speak to Romeo. The nurse was essentially the “middleman” for their relationship. She was so quick to move their relationship along, but the moment Juliet wanted to marry Romeo, the nurse kind of backed out of the relationship instead of trying to change Juliet’s mind. And because of this there was no one to stop the marriage from happening. So it happened, and if it didn’t maybe they wouldn’t have died. Page 160, line 87-91+97 says, “‘There’s no trust, no faith, no honesty in men. All perjured, all forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers. Ah, where’s my man?–Give me some aqua vitae.– These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old. Shame come to Romeo!’ ‘Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin?’” (Shakespeare). The nurse here is saying bad things about Romeo because he killed her friend Tybalt. She stops liking him about here which only adds to Juliet’s stress about his banishment and trying to keep their love a secret, since she can’t confide in the nurse as much now, which only builds up her stress leading her to make rash decisions, and kill herself because she thinks he’s dead, and because she feels like no one else out there is on her side. The nurse’s choices impacted Juliet and Romeo in such a way that it added to everything else, and resulted in them dying.

On one hand, some people might say that the never-ending family feud, gender roles, or how people were raised had nothing to do with the many deaths; it was simply the fact that they weren’t religious enough. If they had been more occupied with being faithful to God and being a good person, they wouldn’t have died an inevitable death. Page 156, line 41 says, “Can heaven be so envious?” (Shakespeare). If she was closer to Christ, none of this would’ve happened because she’d be to occupied with God. She would also understand that everything God puts you through he puts you through for a reason and she wouldn’t be mad. Page 66, line 91-94 says, “(taking Juliet’s hand) If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this: my lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.” (Shakespeare).

Romeo here is worshipping her hand and it shows that he has a loose interpretation on religion and a real God. There are many lines in the play that use the word God, but no one ever prays or says anything to God unless it is to curse him or use him as a form of expression. On the other hand, many people aren’t religious to this day but still end up with a really good life; this proves that it was simply the characters nature, nurture, and gender role that caused their death. In the end, religion doesn’t have as much to do with people’s earthly life as someone’s nature, nurture, or gender role.

In conclusion, people’s nature, nurture, and gender roles were the reason so many people died in the play. Many articles go into detail about teen behavior, and why they’re like that; Romeo and Juliet display’s these emotions through two star-crossed lovers. All in all, society affects you in many ways, leading to either a positive or negative result.

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Can Nature, Nurture, and Gender Be Blamed for Romeo and Juliet's Tragic End?. (2022, Jun 06). Retrieved from

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