Equality of the Sexes: Elizabethan Era and Now (as Conveyed in Romeo and Juliet)

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Equality of the Sexes: The Elizabethan Era and Now
Equal rights have always been a major issue and dispute. Analysing the role of women in the Elizabethan Era, through Shakespeare’s representation in Romeo and Juliet, and comparing them to the role of women in the 21st century, will help to demonstrate that equality of the sexes has been achieved, and come a long way in the past 400 years. Three ways in which equality of the sexes has been achieved is the role of a married, and unmarried woman, and roles of women in society.
Married women’s roles have changed significantly since the late 1500s. A dowry has been abolished when women get married. Their sole purpose of being has changed and is no longer to just provide and raise children
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Shakespeare has represented women being the ‘weaker sex’ through a conversation between Gregory and Sampson, when Sampson states, “… and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall…” (Act I, Sc. I, 20). Women were not allowed to go to school, but the wealthy were allowed to have private tutors, so they were highly educated, but the poorer families couldn’t get any education easily. They were not allowed to get jobs, and domestic service was their only choice. An example of this is the Nurse in Romeo and Juliet. In the 21st century however, women have a very significant role in society, with many even being political leaders and in important professions, such as lawyers, doctors, teachers and scientists. They also have political and rights in society the same as men. Therefore, a woman’s role in society has changed and equalised over the past 400 years.

Since the Elizabethan Era, an unmarried woman's role, women's roles in society and their roles in marriage have changed significantly. Equality of the sexes has been achieved and come a long way over the past 400 years. It is clear that this is true, through analysing an Elizabethan woman’s role and their portrayal in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, and comparing them to a 21st century woman’s rights and roles in marriage, society and being single or unmarried. Women’s rights have gradually equalised over the years, and someday, possibly, women will

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