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Word Count: 895
In William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet the author presents 16th century English society in a way that challenges some of its ideals The Renaissance which itself means re-birth was the setting in which Shakespeare wrote so many of these ideas were being thought about and written about Among those ideals that are challenged in the play are the real-life gender norms for men and women Shakespeare introduces the idea of reversing the gender norms in the play and in doing so makes the play into a physical representation of these Renaissance ideas The presence of these reversed gender roles in the play act as a representation of the re-birth or even re-thinking of 16th century English society In the play itself Shakespeare introduces the reversed roles of men and women in a more subtle way He doesnt devote an entire book on it but places these different malefemale characteristics in two specific characters The characters of Romeo and Juliet are essentially the only two that exhibit these differences in gender norms The reason of course is because Romeo and Juliet are portrayed as the only two characters that rebel against the society they are living in Thus introducing the notion of rebellion The most clear and evident portrayal of this is when Romeo and Juliet meet for the second time on her balcony ten minutes after they met for the first time Like the first encounter Romeo exhibits an almost feminine way in which he expresses himself to Juliet and vice versa She speaks O speak again bright angel for thou art as glorious to this night being oer my head as is a winged messenger of heaven 22 27-30 His emotionally outpouring for his affections towards Juliet and his use of what would be considered feminine imagery by the norms of society is done so in a way that makes the plays onlooker forget about those norms Shakespeare distracts the attention
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