Romeo and Juliet Gender Functions
Gender Functions in Romeo and Juliet In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Juliet turn to conniving and shrewd ways in order to manage her fate and free herself from her confined presence. Contrary to the critics who see Juliet as innocent, childish and immature, Juliet’s habits of manipulating people– especially the men in her life, specifically Romeo– through mimicing maleness suggests a parallel between the methods falconers (mostly males) use to train their falcons (primarily females) (Radel).
Juliet lures Romeo into taking their relationship to a much deeper level, contriving him into proclaiming love and proposing marital relationship. The gender function reversal ends up being more obvious as Romeo gradually loses his self-reliance and ends up being significantly “flighty”, and Juliet, grounded and sensible, assumes the role of “tamer”. In the event of another character Mercutio’s death, Romeo participates in a crisis of masculinity. Romeo is available in touch with his feminine side, which he credits to his love for Juliet.
Juliet is the dominant one in her relationship with Romeo, inverting the gender roles stereotyped to 16th century Elizabethan society. In contrast to normal perception, Juliet has multiple dimensions to her character. Juliet’s intricate character allows her to manipulate people into believing she is sweet and innocent, and after that lower their self-esteem without feeling any regret or contrition. This offers her the power to manage others with no issue of repercussion. In her short article, “Juliet’s Taming of Romeo”, Carolyn E.
Brown composes, “rather of viewing Juliet as shallow, criticism is now more willing to admit that under the surface area lyricism there is another dimension to her words and actions where her more independent, controlling, and defiant nature is lodged” (Brown). Brown states that in common criticism, Juliet has actually constantly been viewed as an overly-dramatic teenager, but lately, it has been proven that while Juliet appears young and immature in the beginning, much deeper down she is extremely conniving, and in some cases, manipulative.
When she reveals this side of her in public, she not just endangers herself, but the lives of others, too. Juliet’s interactions with Romeo prove in addition that she is the dominant, controlling one in the relationship. Her ability to be conceived as a sweet, innocent girl, and to imitate the sneaky, deceptive lady she really is an accomplishment in itself. She is not just able, but also pleased to misinform and benefit from the ones she enjoys, particularly Romeo. Brown concurs, stating, “For her words can be read as continuing to tease him with the pledge of a relationship. (Brown). Brown says even more that Juliet “teases” Romeo, thus proving that she is the better and the more dominant one in her relationship. Mercutio’s death, in addition, highlights a crisis of masculinity in Romeo. Romeo realizes that he has a feminine side, which he credits to his love for Juliet. Brown composes, “In Shakespeare’s play, Mercutio’s death stimulates a crisis of masculinity in which Romeo realizes that his love for Juliet has made him effeminate. “(Brown) Brown uses the term “effeminate” to describe Romeo’s alter-personality– his womanly side.
Juliet is more grounded and sensible than Romeo, and her dislike of his untamed way is apparent in the way she controls Romeo into giving her the responses she desires and abiding by her desires. When Juliet finds Romeo lurking outside her veranda, she asks him a series of specific and direct concerns about how he arrived and who he is. Much to Juliet’s annoyance, Romeo answers with untamed romanticism, “With love’s light wings did I o’erperch these walls; For stone limitations can not hold love out, And what love can do, that attempts love attempt. For that reason thy kinsmen are no let to me. (II. ii. 73-78). While Juliet is aware of the threat and worried for Romeo’s safety, Romeo is lost in his love for Juliet. He neglected all risks of coming to her house– he being a Montague and she a Capulet– simply to capture another glimpse of his cherished. Juliet is even more in control of her mind and emotions, which straight relates to the reality that she is the controlling one in the relationship. Carolyn Brown composes in her post “Juliet’s taming of Romeo”, that the falconer’s relationship with the falcon has direct parallels to the relationship between Romeo and Juliet.
Just like a falconer uses his/her falcon for his/her own gain, Juliet manages Romeo’s emotions and actions (II. ii. 158-159) Brown composes, “Shakespeare establishes a reading that draws parallels between Romeo and trainable falcons (usually females) and between the method Juliet treats Romeo and the approaches falconers (typically males) utilize to train their birds.” (Brown). This is additional proof that Juliet’s masculine state of mind deviates dramatically from the stereotypical, 16th century, female role in society.
Juliet breaks all guidelines and directions from her nurse about being a submissive homemaker and goes on to become her own individual due to the fact that of her quote, “There’s no trust, No faith, no sincerity in males; all perjured, All forsworn, all naught, all dissemblers” (III. ii. ). Juliet doesn’t concern her mother, Girl Capulet, as a metaphorical good example and veers far from her morals and standards, because of her phrase, “Talk not to me, for I’ll not say a word/ Do as thou wilt, for I have actually made with thee” (3. 5. 15) (I. iii. ).
Juliet also controls her father, Lord Capulet, when she defies his order that she marry the Prince Paris and fabricates her own death to manage her fate. Due to the fact that of this, Romeo devotes suicide our of grief, thinking that Juliet is dead. When Juliet becomes aware of the unfortunate turn of events, she kills herself in defense of Romeo’s honor. Juliet manages not only the ending of the story, but the people around her too, showing that she has the capability to make other people seem submissive in contrast to her, contrary to the 16th century belief that men control all relationships.
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare appears to be testing the limits of the gender functions specified by 16th century Elizabethan society: males are supposed to act effective, manly and manipulative; and ladies are subservient, obedient, and submissive. At first impression, Juliet appears safe, innocent, and childlike. As she asserts her independence in an effort to control her destiny and get her flexibility from the reliable figures in her life, it emerges that she is manipulative and controlling– a behavior related to masculinity because period.
Unlike his enthusiast who is practical and useful, Romeo is “flighty” and untamed, swallowed up in his passion for Juliet. Mercutio’s death triggers Romeo to declare his “effeminacy”; his love for Juliet has actually removed him of his masculinity. Through her words and actions, Juliet controls Romeo, comparable to the method a falconer tames a falcon and the method guys in this era manipulated women. They see each other as a method to satisfy their desires: love for Romeo and escape and control of her own fate for Juliet.
In the end, it is their gender function inversions that bring about their fate. Works Cited Brown, Carolyn E. “Juliet’s Taming of Romeo.” 1996. Microsoft Word file. Radel, Nicholas F. “The ethiop’s ear: race, sexuality, and Baz Luhrmann’s William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet.” 2007. Microsoft Word Short article file. Shakespeare, William. The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet. London: John Danter, 1597. N. pag. Print.