William Shakespeare 's Romeo And Juliet Essay

1246 Words Aug 10th, 2016 5 Pages
A major intertextual link can be found to one of Shakespeare’s tragedies, Romeo and Juliet. The plays have many points of likeness, including themes, characters and context. In both plays gender roles affect characterisation. There are many similarities in terms of Hermia and Juliet. For one, they are young lovers of the same status in terms of the social hierarchy, who, due to circumstance, are not allowed to marry who they wish. Both plays were made in the Elizabethan era and the context of production, a largely phallocentric society, has influenced views in regards to gender. In both, women are being forced to marry someone they do not love and the power rests in the father’s hands, as evidenced by Theseus’ remark “to you your father should be as a god” which shows how women were expected to be submissive. At the same time, both have characters symbolic of defiance against the patriarchy: Hermia and Juliet. These women try to escape the system, however, they differ in outcome. While Hermia succeeds and thus challenges the idea of marriage as a matter of prestige and wealth as well as the existing ascribed roles, Juliet doesn’t to the same extent. It can then be concluded that Shakespeare has blended A Midsummer Night’s Dream’s ideas regarding love and gender roles with those of Romeo and Juliet. Depending on interpretation, Romeo and Juliet can be thought of as challenging social norms as they try to escape them. Alternatively, the young lovers can be held up as an…

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