Patriarchal Influence in Romeo and Juliet

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The Effects of Patriarchy in Renaissance History A. Renaissance History The term Renaissance, literally means “rebirth” and is the period in European civilization immediately following the Middle Ages, conventionally held to have been characterized by a surge of interest in classical learning and values. To the scholars and thinkers of the day, however, it was primarily a time of the revival of classical learning and wisdom after a long period of cultural decline and stagnation. ( In the Renaissance period, women played several roles in their families depending on their age and marital status. Male roles, in contrast, generally defined by social position or occupation. In urban societies, the delineation of female roles was sharper than in peasant society. Money was the crucial distinguishing element. Considerations of inheritance in a society that constructed descent in the male line conditioned the way in which daughters, wives, and widows lived. Both religious ideology and social and economic considerations demanded, above all, virginity of daughters until marriage, or for their entire lives. The ideal of virginity had roots in the Gospels and Epistles of the Christian New Testament, in Greek Philosophy, and in patristic literature. As a patriarchal model developed for the family, where identity depended primarily on descent through the male line, and where property descended almost entirely to male heirs, the main purpose daughters served as brides, to link two lineages. (Women in the Renaissance). B. Patriarchal Influence in Romeo and Juliet In the play Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Juliet’s parents can be blamed for the rebellious and detrimental acts of their children. Over the historical existence of the Capulets and the Montagues, there has been an ongoing conflict between the two families. The relentless
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