The Women Of Shakespear Essay Research Paper

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The Women Of Shakespear Essay, Research Paper The women in Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet subscribe to Simone de Beauvoir s counter universe . These characters have different behaviors and personalities based on the company they are keeping. When they are not in the presence of men, they appear to be much more liberated and expressive. In Act I, Scene I of Romeo and Juliet, a tragedy, the Capulets and the Montagues are in the streets of Verona preparing for a brawl. The two matriarchs of the opposing families arrive. Lady Capulet in response to Old Capulet s request for a sword, tells him why ask for a weapon you really need a crutch, thus mocking his eagerness to join the combat. Lady Montague in response to her husband s attempts to provoke Capulet tells him

that he will not take a single step toward their enemy. This scene even though not exclusively between women, gives a look into the actual power these women had over their husbands. It also demonstrates that the women did not have the same animosity towards each other as the men had. These women did not adhere to any limitations based on gender in this scene, since they both spoke their mind in the company of men. Act I, Scene III, between Juliet, her mother and the nurse shows the formality that Juliet has with her mother. Juliet calls her mother Madam and behaves very submissive and obediently. Lady Capulet is very detached from Juliet s upbringing, which is obvious by the lack of knowledge regarding her child s age. The nurse raised Juliet and breast-fed her as an infant. This

fact helps explain the close relationship shared between the nurse and Juliet. The nurse was Juliet s emotional mother while Lady Capulet was her biological mother. Her mother wants to know how she would feel about marrying Paris, a young count. Lady Capulet emphasizes that attractiveness is very important and that every attractive man needs an attractive wife. There is no discussion of love, intimacy or companionship. The nurse talks of sexual intimacy as being the only happiness in a marriage and tells her to aim for happy nights . Juliet does not get excited by the prospect of her marriage to Paris but is just being adolescently obedient. Lady Capulet is almost resentful that her child is not yet married at almost fourteen year old, she was already a mother at that age, which

would make her about twenty-eight year old. This scene adds to the tragic element of the play because of Juliet s lack of enthusiasm for Paris and marriage. It makes her forbidden love for her enemy, Romeo, appear more disastrous when compared to her indifference regarding Paris. Juliet is dancing with Romeo when her nurse interrupts them because her mother is calling for her. In Act I, Scene V Juliet manipulates her nurse in order to discover the identity of the man with whom she danced. She then tells the nurse that she loves her enemy. The nurse is Juliet s servant and does much to aid her during the whole play. The nurse does not have loyalty to Lady Capulet only to Juliet. Act II, Scene V, Juliet has sent her nurse to search for Romeo and when she finally arrives she needs

to rest because she is not in good physical shape. This scene shows the contrast between the old and the young. The nurse is impressed with how eager Juliet is in her need for information regarding Romeo. Juliet gets the news that she is to go to confession where Romeo will meet her and they will be married. The nurse is attempting to get sympathy and appreciation from Juliet. She tells Juliet that she needs to go do more bidding for her, so she may have a wedding night with Romeo. She implies that her virginity will be lost and that she will be working hard all night. The nurse throughout the play makes references to sex almost every time she speaks. Juliet s elation at her forthcoming marriage makes the conclusion to the play much more unfortunate. She has such hope and