Gender Roles and Attitudes toward Love in Shakespeare's Hamlet

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Romeo and Juliet is a heart-breaking tragedy written early in the career of playwright William Shakespeare telling us the story of two teenage ‘star-cross’d lovers’ whose unfortunate deaths ultimately unite the dispute between their two families. Despite the perils involved, they fall in love and marry with the help of two characters, Friar Lawrence and the Nurse. Throughout the play, Shakespeare portrays a range of different kinds of love through the central female characters. Maternal love is offered to Juliet by the Nurse and Juliet’s own reckless and impetuous love brought about by inexperience, which results in a doomed love. Lady Capulet shows business and more of an economic view on love. While these types of love are being shown,…show more content…
The man cannot eat or sleep without thinking about her and he does everything he can to win her over. The way Romeo is in love with Rosaline (his first love) adheres to the conventions of courtly love. Shakespeare also shows maternal love between the Nurse and Juliet. Reckless love is shown mainly by Juliet due to her immaturity and inexperience of love.
Shakespeare introduces the play with a Prologue in Act One. The opening speech of the Prologue serves as an introduction to Romeo and Juliet, as a fourteen line sonnet. We are provided with information about where the play takes place, and given some background information about its characters. It introduces us by describing ‘two noble households’ in the city of Verona hold an ‘ancient grudge’ against each other that remains a source of violent conflict. However this conflict will mend by two lovers who die and that ends the quarrel between the two families, the Montague’s and the Capulet’s. But it is difficult to understand its more important function. The Prologue does not just set the scene of Romeo and Juliet, it tells the audience exactly what is going to happen in the play. The Prologue refers to an ill-fated couple with its use of the word ‘star-crossed,’ which means, against the stars. Stars were thought to control people’s destinies. But the prologue itself creates this sense of fate by providing the audience with the
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