Marriage, Love, and Elizabethan Comic Relief

Marriage, Love, and Elizabethan Comic Relief

Love & Marria ge Shakespeares Time vs. Today Paris- Scene 2 Paris, a relative of the Prince, will ask for Juliets hand in marriage in Act I, Scene 2 Heres some info we need to know about love and

marriage during the Elizabethan period Marriage and Love Today Where do young people meet potential marriage partners? At what age is it considered appropriate for young people to marry? How do young people choose whom they will marry? Do parents have a say in choosing the marriage partner? How would you react if your parents decided that you should marry a certain

person, especially if you were in love with someone else. Would you even consider your parents' suggestion? Theater Through the examination of arts and entertainment, much can be learned about people. Theater, for example, is a mirror of the people and society from which it springs. Through the ages, plays have been used as forms of worship, educational tools, forces for political and social change, forms of personal expression, and sources of entertainment. Courtly Love The idea of courtly love was a

European tradition, dating from the Middle Ages and well known to the Elizabethan audiences of Shakespeares time. It was a set of rules and ideals about the way lovers from wealthy and aristocratic families should behave. The tradition of courtly love was a stereotype from literature and had very little to do with what happened in real life, but some of the ideas about expected behavior of men and women in love survived beyond the Middle Ages.

Rules of Courtly Love The man should fall in love with a woman of equal or higher social class than himself. Marriage is not a barrier to loving someone. If the woman is married, she is more difficult to attain and therefore more of a prize.

The woman must reject the mans advances in order to preserve her honor and good name. The womans coldness towards the man increases his passion for her. He is consumed with sadness, sighs with grief, and makes up poetry about his love. The man tries to perform deeds to make himself good enough for his lady. The man cannot eat or sleep for thinking about his lady. He suffers continually from jealous thoughts. The man can never have enough of the attention of his beloved. An old love can be extinguished by a new love. A man in love can deny nothing to his love. 1500s vs. Today

Do you think any of the conventions of courtly love still influence the behavior and actions of people in love today? (Consider the way love and lovers are depicted in modern stories and film.) In what ways does Romeo conform to the conventions of courtly love at the beginning of the play? Marriage Boys could marry at age 14 and

girls could marry at age 12 with permission. Most people in Shakespeares day waited until they were older (20s) to marry (though some noble families form alliances through marriage contracts earlier on). Marriage vs. Love Marrying for love was considered foolish, though a husband and wife might love each other later. Marriages were typically arranged, especially in middle and upper classes, in order to

promote status and wealth within families, like the Capulets. However, if children had strong objections to the choices, parents were not supposed to force the match. Love was not really considered when arranging a marriage back then, or at least it did not matter. Women in Shakespeares Time Women were not considered equal to men. The wife was considered the property of the husband. Women were

expected to get married and depend on men. Like a servant, she was expected to comfort and obey her husband, accepting her lower (subordinate) status. Girls were typically taught skills that would make them suitable wives for their future husbands childcare and household duties. Noble girls were taught how to sing, dance, etc. to make them better companions for noble men. Women were not trusted. The only ideal woman ever was the Virgin Mary. Dominant women were considered unnatural.

Expectations of Women During this time, young women (like Juliet) were controlled specifically by their fathers. They were expected to marry within their own class. The womens say so in whom they wanted to marry was only a mention. Juliets father says, My will to her consent is but a part.

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