Significance of Gender in Romeo and Juliet

In Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the Montagues and the Capulets have extremely different relationships with their kids. A significant reason for this, in addition to much of the conflict in the tale, comes from the gender functions that Romeo and Juliet are anticipated to play into. Contributing to that conflict is the truth that both Romeo and Juliet push the limits of these roles and struggle to fit into them.

Romeo plays the over psychological fan, while Juliet is smart and dominant. Throughout the play we can see that both Romeo and Juliet have to fight with individuals around them since they are not acting within their particular gender functions.

One of the very first minutes in the play where Romeo’s non-normative mindset towards love is attended to directly is when Mercutio, in Act 2 Scene 4, assesses Romeo and Rosaline. “Why, is not this better now than groaning for love?/ now art thou friendly, now art thou Romeo; now art/ thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature” (2. 4. 20). Mercutio is excited to have his pal ‘back’. In the last 2 lines of this quote, Mercutio suggests that not fretting over love is normal. That, in hanging with the boys and not following his wild feelings, Romeo is being what Romeo ought to be,”art as well as by nature”.

The implication here is that the way he was responding before to Rosaline is not natural. This lovelorn that overpowers all else Romeo feels comes back much harder with Juliet. Mercutio’s remark about Rosaline infers the irregularity of Romeo. This seed that is planted in the mind of the audience can then take root and be even more visible without Mercutio commenting on it directly with Juliet. In the first scene of Act 3, Romeo deals with his masculinity versus his love. When he selects not to eliminate Tybalt with Juliet in mind, Romeo open concerns his own masculinity.

He wants all, a part of this society and definitely recognizes, to a specific extent, the unusualness of his sensations. “… O sweet Juliet,/ Thy beauty have actually made me effeminate/ And in my mood soften ‘d valour’s steel!” (3. 1. 7) To Romeo, it is as if Juliet’s appeal has him bewitched. He does not put the blame on himself or perhaps her, however her appeal. He is enlivening it, confessing that it subdues him. By attributing Juliet’s beauty with such an effective presence, Romeo is only underlining his romantic nature. A number of other characters make note of Romeo’s feminine/emotional nature.

The Nurse and The Friar are two of the more observant characters in the play. In Act 3, Scene 3, when broaching Romeo, The Nurse states, “Stand, stand up; stand, and you be a male:/ For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand” (3. 3. 3). She is stating that Romeo needs to be less psychological, that it is eliminating from his manhood. Later on in the same scene, the Friar informs Romeo to stop sobbing, that it makes him look like a lady. “Hold thy desperate hand:/ Art thou a guy? thy type sobs out thou art:/ Thy tears are womanish …” (3. 3. 4). Throughout the whole play, Romeo is badgered for his emotional way of living. His abnormally demeanor might also be his deadly defect. Early on in the play, when Romeo and his good friends slip into the Capulet celebration, Capulet speaks highly of Romeo, and tells Tybalt not to trigger trouble. There is a kindness in his tone that can not help to make one think that perhaps if Romeo approached Capulet and asked to marry Juliet, that Capulet might have stated yes. However he does not do this, and there is no other way of really knowing what Capulet would have stated.

Romeo’s battle with individuals declining how he doesn’t really fit the mold is not as definitively substantial as Juliet’s. No one is informing Romeo what to do, Lady Montague does not want him to be involved in combating, however no one is trying to determine the rest of his life for him. Juliet’s battle isn’t a social conflict. She isn’t being made fun of by her good friends, or slammed casually by the individuals around her. She is being controlled and pressed towards life commitments that she desires no part of. Romeo has a lot at stake, emotionally, but the rest of Juliet’s life is at stake.

In one of her very first minutes with her mother, this dispute is explicitly revealed, “GIRL CAPULET: Marry, that ‘wed’ is the very style/ I came to talk of. Inform me, daughter Juliet,/ How stands your personality to be wed? JULIET: It is an honour that I dream not of.” (1. 3. 4) Lady Capulet reflects the societal expectations. And although Juliet’s line has no huge impact on Lady Capulet, it does foreshadow her relationship with the world. And inevitably, one side will have to give up. There is an unique change we see in how Juliet’s dad treats her during the play.

In Act 1, Scene 2, when Paris requests for Juliet’s hand in marital relationship, Capulet says that in the end the choice is hers to make, “”However woo her, mild Paris, get her heart,/ My will to her consent is but a part;/ An she agree, within her scope of option/ Lies my permission and fair according voice.” (1. 2. 2) He is informing Paris that he has his true blessing, however he must woo Juliet due to the fact that her consent is very important to him. This gives the impression that Capulet is a kind, non-restrictive, even liberal parent. However later in the play, when Juliet declines to marry Paris, Capulet truly loses his mood at her, “How now, how now, chop-logic!

What is this?/ ‘Proud,’ and ‘I thank you,’ and ‘I thank you not;’/ And yet ‘not proud,’ mistress minion, you,/ Thank me no thankings, nor, proud me no prouds,/ However fettle your great joints ‘gainst Thursday next,/ To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church,/ Or I will drag thee on an obstacle thither./ Out, you green-sickness carrion! out, you baggage!/ You tallow-face!” (3. 5. 3) What happened to his earlier attitude? One could argue that Capulet is, in reality, not a very thoughtful liberal father, however sees himself as one due to the fact that his child, Juliet, is for the a lot of part an excellent kid. And she has never really disobeyed him previously.

This indication of independence and disrespect is excessive for him and his real controlling nature is revealed. The parts of Juliet’s home life that appear helpful and loving only remain as such while she is doing what others desire her to do. As soon as she decides for herself, all of that support is eliminated. Capulet commands her to marry Paris or be kicked out of his house. If Juliet was a boy, or if she wasn’t pushed into the role of the girl than these issues would not turn up. Romeo and Juliet defy their families. They put aside the quarrel that takes up a lot energy and violence.

Romeo neglects his friends in chasing Juliet, and Juliet battles with her parents. Their marriage is a rebellion versus both Houses. Both characters do not fit into the gender roles that other characters anticipate of them. It is this shared defiance that holds them together, but likewise that ruins them. If neither one had actually expectations put on them, then Juliet wouldn’t have actually needed to wed Paris. But the shared deviance and secretive nature to their relationship is a large part of what provided such enthusiasm. Shakespeare is analyzing the functions men and women are asked to play in society, asking us to think of the consequences.