Graduate Review


Romeo and Juliet create a fragile and temporary internal, private world of love and union in response to the external and public Montague and Capulet feud. In contrast to the external chaos in Verona, theirs is a world of desire, self-actualization, and fulfillment. In their adolescent union, “passion lends them power” (Prologue.13) to temporarily subvert their external realities. Eventually, their private world, fragile and unsustainable, tragically erodes with the external realities of Romeo’s banishment and Juliet’s impending marriage. Within the internal space of Juliet’s tomb, the lovers unite, consummating their marriage in Juliet’s blood. Her death, with Romeo’s masculinity thrust inside of her, becomes her ultimate rebellion to the society that would deny her the possession of her passion. Her tomb becomes the site of her greatest agency, their union their greatest defiance. Spatializing adolescence and gender within Verona locates Juliet within internal spaces, but establishes her inherent power to overtake masculinity by strength, passion, reason, and undeterred dedication to her defined honor and duty.



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