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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 #1

'Tis true; and therefore women, being the
weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall. Therefore
I will push Montague's men from the wall, and
thrust his maids to the wall.

The quarrel is between our masters and us
their men.

'Tis all one, I will show myself a tyrant.
when I have fought with the men, I will be civil
with the maids; I will cut off their heads.

The heads of the maids?

Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads.
Take it in what sense thou wilt.

You know what's really manly? Rape and murder. Trust a bunch of hotheaded servants to define masculinity in a really brutal, antisocial way, right?

Quote #2

My naked weapon is out. Quarrel, I will back

Physical violence is equated with forceful sexuality, and both are proof of manliness.

Quote #3

I will frown as I pass by, and let them take it
as they list.

Nay, as they dare. I will bite my thumb at
them, which is a disgrace to them, if they bear it.

Oh no he did not: this is basically the equivalent of flipping someone the bird while sticking out your tongue. So, the Capulets are being insulting and childish all at the same time—but if the Montagues don't get offended (if they "bear" it), then they're the ones who'll be disgraced. Seems a little backward to us.

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