Romeo and Juliet Gender Roles

This essay will explore the representation of gender roles in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” It will discuss how the characters of Romeo and Juliet challenge and conform to the gender expectations of their time. The piece will analyze the impact of these roles on the tragedy’s development and outcome. Also at PapersOwl you can find more free essay examples related to Gender.

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The society of Verona had major differences among the way men and women should act. Men were expected to be masculine and carry themselves with honor and pride; while women were expected to please their men and hold their own opinions. However, Romeo and Juliet defied the standard gender roles that was put on them by their society.

Men in Verona during this time induced a strong sense of power over women. Whereas, women were looked at as possessions who were supposed to do what the men asked of them.

However, Romeo and Juliet tested these ideas by challenging these gender roles. Romeo defied his masculinity and possessed much more feminine and passive traits. In Act I, Romeo communicated in a poetic tone to the other men. “Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs, / Being purg’d, a fire sparkling in lover’s eyes, / Being vex’d a sea nourish’d with loving tears”( Shakespeare 1.1.190-193). Romeo was in love, and his way of thinking was made fun of by many of his peers as being feminine. When he was coupled with Juliet in scenes, his male role faded in the eyes of others. He put himself below Juliet and spoke to her in a weak tone, mainly during the popular balcony scene. “O speak again, bright angel, for thou art / As glorious to this night, being o’er me head, / As a winged messenger of heaven” ( Shakespeare 2.2.26-28). Men in Verona during this time period would never put themselves below a woman. Romeo challenged many of the male gender roles for this time.

Women of Verona were viewed to be a totally different rank to the men of that time. They were thought of as lesser value, powerless, and essentially just items to possess. In Act I, Sampson speaks this: ”‘Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall; therefore I / will push Montaque’s men from the wall, and thrust / his maids to the wall” (Shakespeare 1.1.15-18) Sampson is showing dominance and referring to women to be weaker in power than him. However, Juliet defied these rules and had many opinions of her own, such as marrying Romeo without her parents’ consent. This caused issues with Juliet’s father, Lord Capulet. He wanted to marry her to a different guy, Paris. Juliet went against her father’s wishes. This was not an acceptable act of a woman during this time. Juliet is characterized, by Shakespeare, in a way that opposes the standards for women by giving her extraordinary strength in contrast to the expectations of society of Verona.

When challenged by this society, Romeo and Juliet tried to conform to the expected gender roles. Romeo was concerned about losing his manliness by his actions from falling in love: “O sweet Juliet. / Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, / And in my temper soft’ned valor’s steel!” (Shakespeare 3.1.113-115). Romeo fought to take revenge for, his killed friend, Mercutio, as well as, to display his masculinity. This led to him being sent away and a major turn of events. Near the end of the play, Romeo’s harsh behavior increased. He continued to fight anyone preventing him from being with Juliet. This gave Romeo more of a masculine image. Juliet gave into Friar Lawrence’s plan of drinking the potion to fake her death and escape the disagreement with her parents. This provided Juliet with a more feminine appearance as she allowed others to choose what’s best for her. As Romeo and Juliet changed back to society’s expectations of their gender roles, they left an opening for a huge disaster to happen.

It was evident that Romeo and Juliet disregarded their gender expectations for that period of time. Their behaviors and actions throughout the play reflected how they were different from many other people in their society. Romeo and Juliet’s gender reversal left a huge impact on the Montagues, Capulets and the city of Verona.

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Aggressive and Sexual Males

Elizabethan Verona was a very patriarchal society (as was Elizabethan England). In the play, the men in Verona are shown to be angry, aggressive and focused on sexual activities from the beginning.

Illustrative background for Raping and fighting

Raping and fighting

  • They see Montague servants and their immediate reaction is to try to make them fight: 'I will frown as I pass by' and 'I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it' .
  • The first characters we see are very aggressive, impulsive and masculine – the men of both families are shown to be fighting for dominance (more power) straight away.

Illustrative background for Importance of masculinity

Importance of masculinity

  • He says 'Draw, if you be men' .
  • This suggests that masculinity was an important trait (characteristic) to men of the time period, and that questioning it could cause fights in the streets.

Defying Gender Expectations - Romeo

Romeo and Juliet rebel against gender expectations in the play.

Illustrative background for Feminine traits

Feminine traits

  • Shakespeare presents Romeo as a man with feminine traits.
  • Shakespeare presents him as lovesick and romantic right from the start because he uses a lot of poetry to express himself. Romance and love seem to take up his thoughts, unlike his friends.
  • When Romeo meets Juliet, he constantly talks about her being above him and how much he worships her. He refers to her as an 'angel' , a 'saint' and as belonging in 'heaven' .
  • In a patriarchal society, we would expect Romeo to be dominant in the relationship. But Romeo plays the more submissive (allowing someone else to control) role here and adores and worships Juliet.

Illustrative background for Romeo - family name controversy

Romeo - family name controversy

  • Even though Juliet brings up the idea of either Romeo or herself denying 'thy father and refuse thy name' , it is Romeo who says 'I will never be Romeo' if she loves him.
  • At this time, in a male-dominant society, this would have been very controversial as Romeo goes against tradition and offers to turn away from his own family name (women would always give up their own name to marry the man).

Illustrative background for Womanly death

Womanly death

  • When they commit suicide, Romeo sees Juliet is dead and takes poison (which is traditionally seen as a less painful, more feminine form of suicide).

Defying Gender Expectations - Juliet

Women in the Elizabethan era were thought of as inferior and weak-minded – their purpose was to look attractive, get married, produce children, and obey their husbands or fathers.

Illustrative background for Refuses to marry Paris

Refuses to marry Paris

  • Juliet’s parents expect her to go from their home (where they expect her to do as she is told) straight to marriage and her new husband’s home (where she would be expected to obey her husband and produce children for him).
  • But Juliet goes against her society’s expectations and refuses to marry the man her parents want her to.

Illustrative background for Masculine role in relationship

Masculine role in relationship

  • Juliet takes on the more masculine role in her relationship with Romeo.
  • Although Romeo tells Juliet he loves her, Juliet is the one who proposes the idea of marriage: 'If that thy bent of love be honourable, thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow' .
  • This goes against social expectations for women because women would not normally be the ones to take control of any romantic relationships.
  • Men would start the relationships and propose marriage.

Illustrative background for Sexual

  • Juliet is also the one who talks about her excitement for their physical relationship after marriage (a surprising thing for her to do, as women were not supposed to be very sexual. For women, sex was a necessity and not something they should enjoy or want).
  • After they are married, Juliet complains that she has 'bought the mansion of a love but not possess’d it' - that she has married Romeo but they have not yet consummated their marriage by having sex.
  • The young male characters in the play tend to talk more about sex – Romeo does not really do this, but Juliet does.

Illustrative background for Masculine death

Masculine death

  • Juliet takes Romeo's dagger and stabs herself (which is violent and courageous and linked with masculinity).

1.1 Context

1.1.1 Tragedy & Setting

1.1.2 Relationships

1.1.3 Religion & Fate

1.1.4 End of Topic Test - Context

2 Plot Summary

2.1 Prologue

2.1.1 Prologue

2.2.1 Scene 1

2.2.2 Scene 1 Quotes

2.2.3 Scenes 2-4

2.2.4 Scene 5

2.2.5 End of Topic Test - Prologue & Act 1

2.3.1 Scenes 1-2

2.3.2 Scene 3

2.3.3 Scenes 4-6

2.3.4 End of Topic Test - Act 2

2.4.1 Scene 1

2.4.2 Scene 2

2.4.3 Scenes 3-5

2.4.4 End of Topic Test - Act 3

2.5.1 Scene 1

2.5.2 Scene 2-5

2.6.1 Scenes 1-2

2.6.2 Scene 3

2.6.3 Scene 3 - Quotes

2.6.4 End of Topic Test - Acts 4 & 5

3 Key Characters

3.1.1 First Impressions & Juliet's Effect

3.1.2 Character Development

3.1.3 Reactions & Key Quotes

3.2.1 First Impressions & Character Development

3.2.2 Tragic Character

3.2.3 Key Quotes

3.2.4 End of Topic Test - Romeo & Juliet

3.3 Mercutio

3.3.1 Characterisation

3.3.2 Key Quotes

3.4 The Nurse, Benvolio & Tybalt

3.4.1 The Nurse

3.4.2 Benvolio

3.4.3 Tybalt

3.5 Friar Laurence

3.5.1 Characterisation

3.5.2 Key Quotes

3.5.3 End of Topic Test- Mercutio, Nurse & Benvolio

3.5.4 End of Topic Test - Tybalt & Friar Laurence

3.6 Grade 9 - Key Characters

3.6.1 Grade 9 - Key Characters

3.6.2 Grade 9 - Key Characters: Extract Analysis

4 Key Themes & Concepts

4.1 Power & Danger of Love

4.1.1 Romeo's Loves

4.1.2 Friendship & Family

4.1.3 Violent Love

4.1.4 End of Topic Test - Love

4.2 Violence, Fate & Gender

4.2.1 Violence, Conflict & Suicide

4.2.2 Exam-Style Questions - Violence & Death

4.2.3 Fate & Destiny

4.2.4 Gender

4.2.5 End of Topic Test - Violence, Fate & Gender

4.2.6 Grade 9 - Key Themes

5 Writing Techniques

5.1 Writing Techniques

5.1.1 Language, Rhythm & Rhyme

5.1.2 Symbolism & Imagery

5.1.3 Dramatic Irony & Soliloquys

5.1.4 End of Topic Test - Writing Techniques

Jump to other topics

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Fate & Destiny

End of Topic Test - Violence, Fate & Gender

Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Romeo and Juliet — Love and Gender Roles in Romeo and Juliet

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Love and Gender Roles in Romeo and Juliet

  • Categories: Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare

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Published: Feb 8, 2022

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romeo and juliet gender essay

Romeo and Juliet

By william shakespeare, romeo and juliet essay questions.

In what way do Romeo and Juliet break gender conventions? How do these roles fluctuate throughout the play?

At the beginning of the play, the young lovers' behavior reverses common gender conventions – Romeo acts in a way that his friends call feminine, while Juliet exhibits masculine qualities. Romeo is by no means an archetypal Elizabethan man; he is disinterested in asserting his physical power like the other male characters in the play. Instead, Romeo chooses to stew in his pensive melancholy. On several instances, Romeo's companions suggest that his introspective behavior is effeminate. On the other hand, Juliet exhibits a more pronounced sense of agency than most female characters in Shakespeare's time. While the women around her, like her mother, blindly act in accordance with Lord Capulet's wishes, Juliet proudly expresses her opinion. Even when she has lost a battle (like when Lord Capulet insists she consider marrying Paris), she demonstrates a shrewd ability to deflect attention without committing to anything. In her relationship with Romeo, Juliet clearly takes the lead by insisting on marriage and proposing the plan to unite them. As the play progresses, Romeo starts to break out of his pensive inaction to the point that Mercutio notices this change. Romeo also makes a great shift from his cowardly attempt at suicide in Act III to his willful decision in Act V. Overall, Romeo and Juliet are arguably a good match because they are so distinct. Juliet is headstrong, while Romeo is passive until passion strikes and inspires him to action.

Contrast Romeo's attempted suicide in Act 3 with his actual suicide in Act 5. How do these two events reveal changes in his character and an evolving view of death?

Romeo considers suicide in both Act 3 and Act 5. In Act 3, Romeo's desire to take his own life is a cowardly response to his grief over killing Tybalt. He is afraid of the consequences of his actions and would rather escape the world entirely than face losing Juliet. Both Friar Laurence and the Nurse criticize Romeo for his weakness and lack of responsibility - taking the knife from his hands. In contrast, Romeo actually does commit suicide in Act V because he sees no other option. He plans for it, seeking out the Apothecary before leaving Mantua, and kills himself out of solidarity with Juliet, not because he is afraid. While suicide is hardly a defensible action, Romeo's dual attempts to take his life reveal his growing maturity and his strengthened moral resolve.

Several characters criticize Romeo for falling in love too quickly. Do you believe this is true? Does his tendency towards infatuation give the audience occasion to question Romeo's affection for Juliet?

This question obviously asks for a student opinion, but there is evidence to support both sides of the argument. In Act 2, Friar Laurence states his opinion that Romeo does indeed fall in love too quickly. Romeo is arguably in love with being in love more than he is in love with any particular woman. The speed with which his affections shift from Rosaline to Juliet – all before he ever exchanges a word with the latter – suggests that Romeo's feelings of 'love' are closer to lust than commitment. This interpretation is supported by the numerous sexual references in the play, which are even interwoven with religious imagery in Romeo and Juliet's first conversation. However, it also possible to argue that Romeo's lust does not invalidate the purity of his love. Romeo and Juliet celebrates young, passionate love, which includes physical lust. Furthermore, whereas Romeo was content to pine for Rosaline from afar, his love for Juliet forces him to spring into action. He is melancholy over Rosaline, but he is willing to die for Juliet. Therefore, a possible reading is that Romeo and Juliet's relationship might have been sparked by physical attraction, but it grew into a deep, spiritual connection.

Examine the contrast between order and disorder in Romeo and Juliet . How does Shakespeare express this dichotomy through symbols, and how do those motifs help to underline the other major themes in the play?

The contrast between order and disorder appears from the Prologue, where the Chorus tells a tragic story using the ordered sonnet form. From that point onwards, the separation between order and disorder is a common theme. Ironically, violence and disorder occurs in bright daylight, while the serenity of love emerges at night. The relationship between Romeo and Juliet is uncomplicated without the disorderly feud between their families, which has taken over the streets of Verona. The contrast between order and disorder underscores the way that Shakespeare presents love - a safe cocoon in which the lovers can separate themselves from the unpredictable world around them. At the end of the play, it becomes clear that a relationship based on pure love cannot co-exist with human weaknesses like greed and jealousy.

Many critics note a tonal inconsistency in Romeo and Juliet . Do you find the shift in tone that occurs after Mercutio's death to be problematic? Does this shift correspond to an established structural tradition or is it simply one of Shakespeare's whims?

After the Prologue until the point where Mercutio dies in Act III, Romeo and Juliet is mostly a comic romance. After Mercutio dies, the nature of the play suddenly shifts into tragedy. It is possible that this extreme shift is merely the product of Shakespeare's whims, especially because the play has many other asides that are uncharacteristic of either comedy or tragedy. For example, Mercutio's Queen Mab speech is dreamy and poetic, while the Nurse's colorful personality gives her more dimension than functional characters generally require. However, it is also possible to see the parallels between this tonal shift and the play's thematic contrast between order and disorder. Shakespeare frequently explored the human potential for both comedy and tragedy in his plays, and it is possible that in Romeo and Juliet , he wanted to explore the transition from youthful whimsy into the complications of adulthood. From this perspective, the play's unusual structure could represent a journey to maturity. Romeo grows from a petulant teenager who believes he can ignore the world around him to a man who accepts the fact that his actions have consequences.

Eminent literary critic Harold Bloom considers Mercutio to be one of Shakespeare's greatest inventions in Romeo and Juliet . Why do you agree or disagree with him? What sets Mercutio apart?

One of Shakespeare's great dramatic talents is his ability to portray functional characters as multi-faceted individuals. Mercutio, for example, could have served a simple dramatic function, helping the audience get to know Romeo in the early acts. Then, his death in Act 3 is a crucial plot point in the play, heightening the stakes and forcing Romeo to make a life-changing decision. Mercutio barely appears in Arthur Brooke's Romeus and Juliet , which Romeo and Juliet is based on. Therefore, Shakespeare made a point of fleshing out the character. In Mercutio's Queen Mab speech, Shakespeare has the opportunity to truly delve into the bizarre and often dangerous sexual nature of love. Further, Mercutio's insight as he dies truly expresses the horrors of revenge, as he declares a plague on both the Montague and Capulet families. He is the first casualty of their feud - and because he transcends functionality, the audience mourns his untimely death and can relate to Romeo's capricious revenge.

How does Shakespeare use symbols of gold and silver throughout the play? What does each element represent?

Shakespeare uses gold and silver as symbols to criticize human folly. He often invokes the image of silver to symbolize pure love and innocent beauty. On the other hand, he uses gold as a sign of greed or desire. For example, Shakespeare describes Rosaline as immune to showers of gold, an image that symbolizes the selfishness of bribery. Later, when Romeo is banished, he comments that banishment is a "golden axe," meaning that banishment is merely a shiny euphemism for death. Finally, the erection of the golden statues at the end of the play is a sign of the fact that neither Lord Capulet nor Lord Montague has really learned anything from the loss of their children. They are still competing to claim the higher level of grief. Romeo, however, recognizes the power of gold and rejects it - through him, Shakespeare suggests a distinction between a world governed by wealth and the cocoon of true love.

Do a character analysis of Friar Laurence. What motivates him? In what ways does this motivation complicate his character?

Friar Laurence is yet another character who transcends his functional purpose. When Romeo first approaches the Friar to plan his marriage to Juliet, the older man questions the young man's sincerity, since Romeo openly pined for Rosaline only a few days before. However, the Friar shows a willingness to compromise by agreeing to marry the young lovers nevertheless. What ultimately motivates Friar Laurence is his desire to end the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, and he sees Romeo and Juliet's marriage as a means to that end. While his peaceful intentions are admirable, his devious actions to achieve them – conducting a marriage that he explicitly questions – suggests he is more driven by politics than by an internal moral compass. The fact that a religious figure would compromise one of the Church's sacraments (marriage) further suggests that the Friar wants his power to extend beyond the confines of his Chapel. He also displays his hubris by helping Juliet to fake her death, rather than simply helping her get to Mantua to be with Romeo. While Friar Laurence is not an explicit villain, his internal contradictions speak to Shakespeare's ability to create multi-faceted characters.

Should Romeo and Juliet be considered a classical tragedy (in which fate destroys individuals)? Or is it more a tragedy of circumstance and personality? Moreover, could the tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet have been avoided?

In classical tragedy, an individual is defeated by Fate, despite his or her best efforts to change a pre-determined course of events. A classical tragedy both celebrates an individual's willpower while lamenting the fact that the universe cannot be bested by mankind. The tragic elements in Romeo and Juliet are undeniable - two young lovers want nothing more than to be together and fall victim to an ancient feud and rigid societal conventions. However, while Romeo and Juliet's deaths result from human folly, the immovable power of fate also has a hand in sealing their destinies. For instance, Romeo and Juliet had many opportunities to simply run away together instead of being separated after Romeo is banished from Verona. Furthermore, many of the tragic occurrences are contingent on antagonistic characters running into one another, and then choosing to pursue vengeance rather than simply walk away. Based on this evidence, it is possible to read Shakespeare's intent as suggesting that behavioral adjustment can often prevent tragic events.

How is Romeo and Juliet a criticism of organized religion? Examine the play's secularism to develop your answer.

While Romeo and Juliet does not present explicit attacks against religion, Shakespeare reveals his skepticism of Christianity in subtle ways. In many ways, Romeo and Juliet must reject the tenets of Christianity in order to be together. In their first meeting, they banter, using religious imagery to share their sexual feelings. In this exchange, the lovers acknowledge the omnipresence of Christianity, but cheekily use religious images in an unexpected context. Further, Christian tradition would have required Juliet to submit to her father's desire, but instead, she manipulates his expectations to distract him from her real agenda. Even Friar Laurence, an explicitly religious figure, uses Christianity as a tool towards his own ends. In this way, the play implicitly suggests that the rigid rules of religion often work in opposition to the desires of the heart - and to pursue true happiness, one must throw off the shackles of organized faith.

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Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Romeo and Juliet is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

Can you find verbal irony in the play? Where?

One example of verbal irony would be Romeo's reference to the poison he has purchased as a "sweet medicine". A cordial is a sweet liquor or medicine.

Come, cordial and not poison, go with me To Juliet's grave; for there must I use thee.

What do we learn about Mercutio in queen man speech?

The whole speech is based on pagan Celtic mythology. Mercutio’s speech is laced with sexual innuendo. The words “queen” and “mab” refer to whores in Elizabethan England. As his speech goes on we notice the subtext get increasingly sexual...

What does Romeo fear as he approaches Capulet house? What literary device would this be an example of?

Romeo feels something bad is going to happen.

I fear too early, for my mind misgives Some consequence yet hanging in the stars

Looks like foreshadowing to me!

Study Guide for Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Romeo and Juliet
  • Romeo and Juliet Summary
  • Romeo and Juliet Video
  • Character List

Essays for Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.

  • Unity in Shakespeare's Tragedies
  • Fate in Romeo and Juliet
  • Romeo and Juliet: Under the Guise of Love
  • The Apothecary's Greater Significance in Romeo and Juliet
  • Romeo and Juliet: Two Worlds

Lesson Plan for Romeo and Juliet

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to Romeo and Juliet
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • Romeo and Juliet Bibliography

E-Text of Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet e-text contains the full text of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.

  • List of Characters

Wikipedia Entries for Romeo and Juliet

  • Introduction
  • Date and text

romeo and juliet gender essay

Half Million Quotes

Romeo and Juliet Sexism and Gender Roles Quotes

True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall.

– William Shakespeare

The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.

SAMPSON: I will show myself a tyrant: when I have fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids, and cut off their heads. GREGORY: The heads of the maids? SAMPSON: Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt.

Me they shall feel while I am able to stand: and ’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.

GREGORY: Draw thy tool… SAMPSON: My naked weapon is out: quarrel, I will back thee.

Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at them; which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Draw, if you be men. Gregory, remember thy swashing blow.

Women grow by men.

Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed. If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow, By one that I’ll procure to come to thee, Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite; And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay And follow thee my lord throughout the world.

Young men’s love then lies Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.

Women may fall, when there’s no strength in men.

A bawd, a bawd, a bawd! so ho!

No hare, sir; unless a hare, sir, in a lenten pie, that is something stale and hoar ere it be spent.

An old hare hoar, And an old hare hoar, Is very good meat in lent But a hare that is hoar Is too much for a score, When it hoars ere it be spent.

O sweet Juliet, Thy beauty hath made me effeminate And in my temper soften’d valour’s steel!

There’s no trust, No faith, no honesty in men.

Even so lies she, Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering. Stand up, stand up; stand, and you be a man: For Juliet’s sake, for her sake, rise and stand.

Hold thy desperate hand: Art thou a man? thy form cries out thou art: Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote The unreasonable fury of a beast: Unseemly woman in a seeming man!

Like a misbehaved and sullen wench, Thou pout’st upon thy fortune and thy love: Take heed, take heed, for such die miserable.

Good father, I beseech you on my knees, Hear me with patience but to speak a word.

Well, he may chance to do some good on her: A peevish self-will’d harlotry it is.

I’ll play the housewife for this once. What, ho! They are all forth. Well, I will walk myself To County Paris, to prepare him up Against to-morrow.

O heavens! O wife, look how our daughter bleeds! This dagger hath mista’en – for, lo, his house Is empty on the back of Montague, – And it mis-sheathed in my daughter’s bosom!

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‘Romeo & Juliet’ Play Starring Tom Holland and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers Faces ‘Barrage of Racial Abuse,’ Producer Says ‘This Must Stop’

By Naman Ramachandran

Naman Ramachandran

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Francesca-Amewudah-Rivers Tom Holland

The Jamie Lloyd Company has hit back after its production of Shakespeare’s “Romeo & Juliet” has been the subject of what they call a “barrage of deplorable racial abuse” aimed at an unnamed cast member.

The play, directed by Jamie Lloyd (“Sunset Boulevard”), stars “Spider-Man: No Way Home” star Tom Holland as Romeo and Francesca Amewudah-Rivers (“Bad Education”) as Juliet.

On Friday, the Jamie Lloyd Company issued a statement , saying: “Following the announcement of our ‘Romeo & Juliet’ cast, there has been a barrage of deplorable racial abuse online directed towards a member of our company. This must stop.”

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“Romeo & Juliet” is due to play at London’s Duke of York’s Theatre May 23 through Aug. 3. The run is already sold out.

In 2021, a landmark survey titled “Race Between the Lines: Actors’ Experience of Race and Racism in Britain’s Audition and Casting Process and on Set” found that 64% of respondents experienced racist stereotyping in an audition and 55% experienced racist behavior in the workplace.

In March this year, two proposed “Black Out” London West End performances of Jeremy O. Harris‘ “Slave Play” came under fire from U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak‘s office.

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  1. Romeo and Juliet Gender Roles

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  2. The Role Of Women In Romeo And Juliet: [Essay Example], 1024 words

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  3. Gender Stereotypes in Romeo and Juliet

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  4. Significance Of Gender In Romeo And Juliet Analysis Essay Example

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  1. Romeo and Juliet Gender Roles

    Romeo and Juliet Gender Roles. The society of Verona had major differences among the way men and women should act. Men were expected to be masculine and carry themselves with honor and pride; while women were expected to please their men and hold their own opinions. However, Romeo and Juliet defied the standard gender roles that was put on them ...

  2. PDF AQA English Literature GCSE Romeo and Juliet: Themes

    Gender Roles. Gender is an important theme within Romeo and Juliet as it contributes to the characters and their development. However, it can still be a source of conflict as the characters do not always adhere to the roles which they are traditionally supposed to fulfil. It is important to note that even though the play is set in a patriarchal ...

  3. Gender

    Juliet takes on the more masculine role in her relationship with Romeo. Although Romeo tells Juliet he loves her, Juliet is the one who proposes the idea of marriage: 'If that thy bent of love be honourable, thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow'. This goes against social expectations for women because women would not normally be the ones to take control of any romantic relationships.

  4. The Depiction of Gender Roles and Social Constructs in Romeo and Juliet

    The essay "The Depiction of Gender Roles and Social Constructs in Romeo and Juliet" demonstrates a strong understanding of the play's themes and characters. The organization of the essay is clear, with a well-defined introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion.

  5. Gender Stereotypes in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet: An

    Juliet is a thirteen-year-old girl. who tries to follow her heart to seek love by opposing the oppression of women by. Elizabethan society. Juliet's rebellion and pursuit of true love, who is ...

  6. An Exploration of Gender in Shakespeare ' s Romeo and Juliet

    Published 2017. Art. Through three distinctive representations of gender, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet (1597) destabilises the notion that masculinity and femininity are binary oppositions. To challenge these stereotypical constructions of gender, Romeo and Juliet represents masculine and feminine traits as being accessible by both genders ...

  7. Romeo and Juliet Essay

    The two main characters in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet challenge their gender roles during their romance, but due to the constraints placed on them by the patriarchal feud, they are not able to fully escape the rigid rules, leading to the tragic outcome. Romeo, as the son of the family leader and potential heir to his position, is expected ...

  8. Tradition and Subversion in Romeo and Juliet

    23 Edward Snow, "Language and Sexual Difference in Romeo and Juliet, "in Romeo and Juliet: Critical Essays, ed. John Andrews (New York: Garland, 1993). Snow says that "the Nurse's memory weaves ...

  9. How do gender roles in Romeo and Juliet compare to those in Baz

    Romeo and Juliet's take on gender roles incorporates both traditional and subversive elements.Verona society is undoubtedly patriarchal, with men expected to fight to defend the honor of their ...

  10. Spatializing Gender and Adolescence in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

    When she meets Romeo, Juliet's lack of parental love and companionship primes the full awakening of her desire and inspires her response of justice, duty, and honor. Unlike Lady Capulet, Juliet is governed by her youthful desires. Both women embrace their definition of justice and duty powerfully.

  11. Romeo and Juliet: An Exploration of Gender Roles

    Romeo accuses Juliet of making him soft and losing his manhood: "O sweet Juliet. / Thy beauty hath made me effeminate, / And in my temper soft'ned valor's steel!" (3.1.113-115).

  12. Gender Norms Presented In Romeo And Juliet

    In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare depicts the society in Verona as a time in which there were harsh gender norms that differentiated between men and women. Men were viewed as being rulers and having extreme power and differed from women, because they were seen as being of lower status and inferior to men. If men were seen acting like a female it ...

  13. The Importance of Gender in Romeo and Juliet

    In conclusion, Romeo's choices are heavily impacted by external factors and gender roles due to him being a teenager. Factors such as brain development, gender roles, friends, and parents all have a direct connection to Romeo's behavior and choices. All of these could be something that affects many day-to-day lives, without it being realized.

  14. Love and Gender Roles in Romeo and Juliet

    Ultimately, William Shakespears play "Romeo and Juliet" shows how both genders are not winners and are restricted by the patriarchal society which leads to defeat. However, even though both genders suffer defeat in the play, love is a predominant theme throughout the play which is the winner at the very end of the play. This essay was ...

  15. Romeo and Juliet Essay Questions

    Romeo also makes a great shift from his cowardly attempt at suicide in Act III to his willful decision in Act V. Overall, Romeo and Juliet are arguably a good match because they are so distinct. Juliet is headstrong, while Romeo is passive until passion strikes and inspires him to action. 2. Contrast Romeo's attempted suicide in Act 3 with his ...

  16. How is gender portrayed in Romeo and Juliet?

    Quick answer: Gender is portrayed in Romeo and Juliet in fairly conventional terms. Men act in a traditionally masculine manner, defending their family honor and getting into fights, whereas women ...

  17. Romeo And Juliet Gender Roles Essay

    Romeo and Juliet Final Essay Throughout Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, there is a clear overlaying presence of the gender roles that both men and women were supposed to play in the Elizabethan Age. During the time period of Shakespeare, there was an explicit distinction between what was expected of males and females.

  18. Romeo And Juliet Gender Roles Essay

    Romeo And Juliet Gender Roles Essay. During the 14th century, the view regarding gender roles was nothing like today's perspective. Boys were raised to become men: violent, dominant, confident, and decisive beings. Girls were raised to become ladylike figures: subservient, obedient, diffident, and emotional individuals.

  19. Romeo And Juliet Gender Roles Essay

    In the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, William Shakespeare defines gender roles as traditional, however he challenges it by making the main characters non-traditional. He writes all the men , like capulet, and the kingsmen in the play as traditional male gender role. All except for Romeo, who he writes as a non-male like gender ...

  20. Romeo and Juliet Sexism and Gender Roles Quotes

    Hamlet. Romeo and Juliet Sexism and Gender Roles Quotes. True; and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall. - William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet, Act 1, Scene 1.

  21. Significance of Gender in Romeo and Juliet

    Romeo ignores his friends in chasing after Juliet, and Juliet battles with her parents. Their marriage is a rebellion against both Houses. Both characters do not fit into the gender roles that other characters expect of them. It is this shared defiance that holds them together, but also that ruins them.

  22. Tom Holland's 'Romeo & Juliet' Faces 'Barrage of Racial Abuse'

    "Romeo & Juliet" is due to play at London's Duke of York's Theatre May 23 through Aug. 3. The run is already sold out. In 2021, a landmark survey titled "Race Between the Lines: Actors ...