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    Explore how male domination contributes to the tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet” Essay

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    A tragedy is an event which causes great destruction of suffering, also it is a type of drama which the action and language are elevated which the ending usually sad especially involving the fall of a great man, this normally is known as a shocking or sad event.

    a personal tragedy is a close person or living thing that dies where a literary tragedy is a written tragedy like a novel or a story.

    A Shakespearian tragedy play normally starts off happy and gets sad and negative at the end, A good example is when a protagonist usually the man of importance and outstanding qualities falls to disaster through the combination of a personal failing and circumstances with which he cannot deal. Other tragedy plays by Shakespeare include ; Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, Romeo and Juliet, king Lear, Julius Caesar, Antony and Cleopatra.

    Romeo and Juliet is one of the most well known plays and it has been performed countless of times as it is about love, luck and chance of everything going wrong. Everyone feels sorrow for them as it is about a tragic story about young love.

    The Prologue is a chorus for which is written for a Greek version of Romeo and Juliet. It is basically saying the storyline and that it is a tragedy, for example it says” a fearful passage of their death-marked love”. It tells it’s a tragedy as Shakespeare uses words like “fateful” and “death”.

    It also uses words like “Fatal…death marked love…blood” all exemplify violence throughout the play which contributes to the tragedy.

    The ancient Grudge is between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s which is mainly with the male side as it shows off their masculinity. ‘Ancient’ suggests that it has been on going for generations and no living soul knows how or why I started but it is finally stopped by the death if the son and daughter of the lords themselves.

    In ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Shakespeare emphasises the male stereotype as he mentions that they are ruthless, temperamental, competitive and dominant because of these characteristics the masculinity continues the feud and violence between the family’s which reinforces the stereotypes.

    The male domination illustrates the weakness of the females role in life as the were thought to be owned by men which made them feel useless and just for show, the male stereotype of competitive was shown by this as they were shown to be worth nothing and only used for sexual pleasure.

    Samsung and Gregory were two servants of the Capulet family who are always wanting a fights with the Montague’s. Samsung is very boastful and very sexist, we see this as he says “women being the weaker vessels are ever thrust to the wall” this shows the stereotypical of men being dominant and strong as women are only used for show. When Samsung and Gregory have their banter it is very sinister as they both believe it is ok to treat women badly as they have no morals, in addition they think men are superior over women, we see this as it says ” When I fought with the men, I will be cruel with the maids- I will cut of their heads”.

    In addition Samsung starts boasting and when Abraham joined Samsung started to provoke a fight with him to show off his testosterone when Abraham asks him “do you bite your thumb at me sir?” he is trying to provoke a fight but when he asks Gregory if the police are on their side, he is worried as he knows they would be biased on their side, but he still aggravates then by saying that they quarrel which means likes to argue, which also provokes them to make them angry.

    When Lord Capulet and Lord Montague find out about the brawl they both are egger to join the battle, this show off the stereotypical side of being masculine and wanting to fight. The wives try to stop them for their own good as they know they are too old for fighting but they respond by resisting their wives and forcefully pick up their weapons prepared for fighting. This sets a bad example to Verona and to the citizens as they are two of the most powerful and richest families which the citizens look up to them. To conclude Verona seems to have a very violent nature in the city between many families.

    Tybalt represents the male dominant and stereotype strong. In act 3 scene 1 where Tybalt wants to fight Romeo but he refuses, for example he says “what draw and talk of peace?” because of Tybalt’s emotional state and anger this is what eventually kills Mercutio.

    This is also shown when he first sees Romeo at the grand Capulet masked ball because when he speaks the rhyming couplet which is “Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, to strike him dead, I hold no sin.” Tybalt is once again trying to protect his and his family’s honour, because as one of the most dominant men in the Capulet family he feels the right that he should protect them from the intruder and trespasser. He also feels that Romeo is there to ruin the party and dishonour Tybalt’s family.

    When lord Capulet prevents Tybalt from taking violent action of Romeo and tells him to be patient and wait, but as we know that his character does not wait and cannot be patient so when he is watching Romeo dance with Juliet he swears ” I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall.” Which as another rhyming couplet he is saying he will take revenge on Romeo when the time is right. This is a major example of why the feud between the families has kept going on for so long as both families cant stay out of each others ways and their only decision involves violence with carries it on for many years.

    When Tybalt is looking for Romeo he comes across Mercutio, he shows the typical male behaviour as he is constantly trying to mock and fight with Tybalt. Tybalt does not want to fight Mercutio but only with Romeo as he insulted and dishonoured his family, Mercutio feels the right to stand up for Romeo as one of his most loyal friends but he is another stereotypical male where he does not think and only resolves things with violence.

    Tybalt does not fight with Mercutio as he has no grudge or envy towards him even though he is a Montague, Tybalt is only there for one thing which is to find Romeo and humiliate him like he did in front of Tybalt’s family.

    When Tybalt finally finds Romeo he insults him by calling him a villain which in those times would normally irritate anyone but because Romeo is the only one who knows that Tybalt is now a part of his family after marrying Juliet he refuses to hurt someone who is now know as ‘family’.

    After Romeo does not react to Tybalt’s insult he then follows on to call him a boy, calling Romeo a boy makes his male dominance low as he is treated like a child and inferior to him. Romeo just kept on refusing to fight and said to Tybalt “I love thee more than thou can’st devise”. Tybalt thinks Romeo is joking around and mocking him as Tybalt does not yet know about the marriage of Romeo and Juliet.

    Mercutio reacts with insult and anger when he hears Romeo turn down Tybalt’s challenge, which he believes it dishonours his family. Mercutio then reacts and shouts “Tybalt, you rat catcher, will you walk?” this is basically calling him a vicious cat as he sneaks around and disrupts everything, the comments from Mercutio also show that Tybalt represents the male stereotype as he constantly wants to fight and never gives up his honour by backing down from one.

    Romeos immediate reaction to finding out that Mercutio is dead is that he fills up with shock and anger as his best friend was killed by the devious Tybalt, Romeo does not think straight and chases after Tybalt. This shows the audience that Romeo does not think about important actions, for example he marries Juliet in less than a week of meeting her and mourning over Rosaline who he used to love. Another example is chasing Tybalt as when he finds him he finally takes up his challenge to revenge the death of Mercutio, but as well as Romeo knows that if he took up Tybalt’ challenge at the start then his friend would still be alive.

    Romeo felt self pity over Mercutio’s death because he believed is was his own fault as he did not have the courage and will power to stand up to Tybalt for himself. After he goes through a mixed state of emotions and slays Tybalt he then feels remorse and shame as he killed the love of his life Juliet’s cousin, he also knows he will be banished from Verona for the killing and would never see Juliet again.

    Romeo’ changeability is highlighted in act 2 scene 3 as it is generally talking about how he keeps falling in and out of love, we can interpret this as it says “is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear, so soon forsaken?” this is saying that he moves from one girl to the other because of their looks, which shows he does not know what true love is.

    In addition Romeo acts like a child when he goes to kill Tybalt as afterwards he goes to Friar Lawrence, curls up and cries in the corner which is another reason which shows he never thinks of his actions. Moreover he doesn’t think enough about when Juliet is supposedly dead as he rushes and kills himself without concentrating about the whole dramatic event.

    When Romeo first sees Juliet as the masked ball he paints a picture exaggerating over her beauty, the fact that the whole speech is in rhyming verse, a couplet at a time, suggests that Romeo views Juliet as an ‘angel’ quoted from the book.

    He expresses her like this because she looks stunning and her appearance would bright up the sky from miles away.

    Patriarchy is a society which is ruled by dominant male leaders.

    Lord Capulet’s patriarchal power is wielded because as a noble man he believes he is responsible for providing Juliet with money and to also maintain the whole family with anything they need. As the Father or Juliet he feels responsibly to find Juliet a suitable man to marry who will keep their families honour high and reputation, in addition the women relied on their father to arrange the marriage as they were inferior to the men.

    So when Juliet refuses to marry Paris who is a relative of the Price and is very wealthy, Lord Capulet can believe it as she is being dishonourable and disobedient which insults him. He reacts to this by lashing out in an outrage and threatening Juliet that she will be disowned by his family.

    To conclude about how male domination contributed to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, I believe that because of the long feud and violence between the two families, this prevented Romeo and Juliet from having a real relationship because they had to keep it secret from both families. Also because of the male dominance and that Juliet’s Father was trying to force Juliet to marry Paris then this compelled her to fake her death so that she could finally run away and be free with Romeo.

    In addition because of the male superiors always creating or wanting to fight, this was a bad upbringing for both Romeo and Juliet so there whole life was to hate the other family which is another factor which would of cause these catastrophic events.

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    Explore how male domination contributes to the tragedy of “Romeo and Juliet” Essay. (2017, Oct 26). Retrieved from

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