Sexuality in Literature: Romeo and Juliet & Tristan and Iseult

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Through literature can be made understood elements of sexuality in life such as: women's lives, sex roles, marriage, domesticity, power relationships, hierarchies, inequalities, resistance, and social statement and protest. The art of literature can present and discuss sexuality in a variety of different terms, and in an array of different styles and methods.


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The taboo subject is a consistent theme throughout all of Shakespeare's play, but is however more explicit somewhat and much more prominent especially in his work Romeo and Juliet. The taboo and desire themes are extremely evident in this work, and continue from the beginning to the very end. The first showing of desire takes place during the immediate beginning of the story, when Romeo first sees Juliet at the Capulet's party and falls in love with her on sight. "The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand, And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now Forswear it, sight! For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." (Act I, Scene 5). There is a long running feud between Romeo and Juliet's families, which is the primary form of taboo that takes place in this story. Romeo and Juliet fall so deeply in love immediately however, and they ignore the dangers and decide to get married.
The sexual punning truly begins in II 25-35 and continues throughout the play. The love of Romeo and Juliet, although idealized, is rooted in passionate sexuality. In this play there are crude allusions to sex and exalted ones, but the erotic is never very far under the surface. ...
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