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Social structures of 1600s and their effect on Romeo and Juliet

How do the social structures of the period (1600's) limit the expression of the desires such as those addressed in Romeo and Juliet?

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Considering that Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, is a play about young love, Romeo and Juliet themselves are most likely young adults or teens 15-17. The situation presented and the ages of the two main characters lend itself to expressions of passions, romance, sexual desires and impulsive behaviors. It is a play about homicidal ideation, suicidal ideation, gang affiliations, thumbing one's nose at authority and disobeying one's own family.

The play is one of Shakespeare's tragedies - it ends with deaths of the two young "star-crossed lovers" as well as deaths of three others. It was first published in 1597. In Shakespeare's time, women's parts were played by young men on the stage, so if there would be gaps in displays of passion on stage, it might be due to a homophobic point of view that would prevent two males from displaying physical/sexual passions.

A quick read of the script reveals no overt scenes of sexual passion between the two, although there are ...

Solution Summary

Social structures of 1600s and their effects on Romeo and Juliet is examined.

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