Uploaded by Jazmine Bennett

Romeo and Juliet Context

Romeo and Juliet
Renaissance Italy
• England vs Italy
• Shakespeare criticises the Italian influence
on English culture
• Shakespeare draws on stereotypes about
Women in Elizabethan England
• Lower social status
• No legal rights
• Property of men
• Weren’t allowed on stage
Women in Shakespeare
• Juliet is unconventional
• And so are many of Shakespeare’s female
Intertextuality – The Tragical History of
Romeus and Juliet (1562)
Intertextuality – Metamorphoses (8 AD)
• Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare’s
• Originally theorised by Aristotle
• Although it deviates from this
• Catharsis
• Other tragedies include Macbeth, Othello,
and Hamlet
Writing about context
• Think about audiences and how they’d react
• Think about the differences between Elizabethan
England and Britain today
• Think about (a)typicality
Writing about context
In Act 1, Scene 2, Shakespeare presents Lord Capulet as a generous
man. He tells Paris that ‘An she agree, within her scope of choice/ Lies
my consent and fair according voice’. By presenting this idea in an
heroic couplet, Shakespeare is showing that Juliet’s consent to her
marriage is of utmost importance. This would have been atypical for
men in Elizabethan England who were generally seen to own their
daughters and usually made decisions about who they’d marry without
considering their feelings. However, Capulet’s generosity may be
intended to reflect the stereotype that existed in England, that
Renaissance Italy was a freer society than England.
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