I shall endeavour to explore and analyse how women are presented in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Marvell’s “To His Coy Mistress” and Duffy’s “Human Interest”.
Firstly we will commence by discovering how women are presented in Shakespeare’s play .Through-out the play women are presented as immature , impuissant characters : Lady Capulet & Juliet ,all women are regarded as possessions of men ,for them to do as they please . They are ornaments, they cannot speak their minds nor can they make their own decisions. Women are in the men’s shadows.
From the start of Romeo and Juliet in Act 1.1 Sampson says the word “maidenhead” which means virginity and “thrust his maids”, the ...view middle of the document...
In Act1. 2 Lord Capulet informs Paris that his daughter is not ready for the marriage as she had not turned 14 yet. Capulet suggests that Juliet needs to “ripe” ,this is often associated with fruits which needs to ripe before being eaten ,this again shows the objectification of women by men .This shows Lord Capulet presents his daughter to be an object.
In the play, Romeo's feelings for Rosaline fades after he ascertained that she did not like him back. Romeo describes her as someone who "makes huge waste" ( in Act 1.2) because she had no plans on having children with him. Romeo remarked that Rosaline is responsible for great waste, since her beauty will not live on and because he is only after sexual pleasures with her. Upon thinking of this thought, Romeo developed feelings towards Rosaline because of her looks. This implies that women are presented to be object of lust for men during the Elizabethan era .
In Act 1 . 2 Romeo is grieving over the beautiful Rosaline who rejected him to cheer him up Benvolio refers to Rosaline a “poison” and tell Romeo he will make Romeo think “thy swan a crown” Benvolio compares Rosaline to a swan and says he will make her look like a “crow” , supposedly a common and ugly bird. This implies that since Romeo couldn’t achieve Rosaline Benvolio insults Rosaline by calling her ugly and poisonous .This suggest if women could not be captured by men they were often insulted and presented to be hideous and unworthy .
In Act 1.5 Romeo uses religious imagery to describe Juliet .He call her a “ holy shrine “The one is a sexual reference Romeo could have called her holy and scared because she hasn’t been touched yet, hasn’t had sex. He calls himself a prayer suggesting that he is bowing down to her with his two hands. .Romeo refers to her virginity and objectifies her when he says “shrine” which is a holy place or thing .Although men in the Elizabethan era women as a holy and scared they equally saw them as objects of lust
He again uses religious to describe her .He compares her to a “rich jewel in a Ethiopia’s ear “ an Ethiop refers to a person to a person Ethiopia who is a dark-skinned person and the rich jewel is no doubt a diamond, to him she shone as bright as a luminous jewel on a dark background. He refers to her as a snowy dove which is often beauty ,rare and gentle .In this quote Romeo presents Juliet a precious object and he objectifies her by comparing her to a piece of jewellery .
In Act 2.4 Mercutio says “I am the pink flower “to Romeo, the word “pink flower” is a reference to female gentile, the tone used was mockery, this shown he was a typical man from the Elizabethan era who made crude jests at the expense of women. This presents women to be inferior to men as men often ridiculed them using sexual innuendos.
In Act 2.4, when the nurse goes to deliver Juliet’s message to Romeo, Mercutio and Benvolio make fun of her. They call her a “bawdy” suggesting she is a pimp and Mercutio says ...