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Romeo and Juliet Gender Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition of the play.

Quote #7

Why, is not this better now than groaning
for love? now art thou sociable, now art thou
Romeo, now  art thou what thou art, by art as well as
by nature. For this driveling love is like a great
natural that runs lolling up and down to hide his
bauble in a hole.

Translation: being in love makes Romeo seem like a "natural," i.e. someone who's mentally challenged, and runs around trying to hide a toy. Hm. Is Mercutio a little jealous of Juliet? Is he worried that she's going to break up the band, Yoko-style?

Quote #8

This gentleman, the Prince's near ally,
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf. My reputation stained
With Tybalt's slander—Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my cousin! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper softened valor's steel!

Brain snack: for centuries, "effeminate" didn't just mean that you were acting like a woman; it meant that you liked women too much. And hanging around sucking up to women would make you womanly—just like catching cooties.

Quote #9

Alive in triumph, and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now.—
Now, Tybalt, take the 'villain' back again
That late thou gavest me, for Mercutio's soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company.
Either thou or I, or both, must go with him.

Romeo reasserts his masculinity by fighting Tybalt. He also avenges the death of his best friend, which makes us wonder whether or not Juliet is the most important person in Romeo's life.

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