Why do women choose on looks and not how nice a person is Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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Some further clarification is needed.  Initially, I think it might be a bit on the sweeping side to say that one gender choose others on the basis of looks.  Undoubtedly, this is present, but to say that it is something that serves as the only determinant might be a bit narrow in scope.  There are many reasons individuals are attracted to others.  Looks might not play a role at times, economics might.  Another determinant might be emotional compatibility, or even similar temperaments and tastes.  Some might not even choose another at all, but rather the choice being made for them.  There are multiple reasons why individuals choose to be with others.  (The only time I can add a personal note:  I am confident that my wife did not select me on looks.  Recently, I had a student tell me, after seeing my wife, "Man, you married up!"  I looked at the student that they were absolutely right!  In this instance, a women did not choose on looks.)

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To contradict this generalization as it pertains to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, it is Romeo who consents to attend the fete that the Capulets have and look.  When he does see Juliet, it is Romeo who falls instantly in love.  Therefore, Romeo is the one who chooses on looks.  Juliet is hesitant to touch him when he offers her his hand as "a good pilgrim"; she is not the one swearing by the moon, either.

Earlier in the play, when Lady Capulet asks Juliet about Paris--"What say you?  can you love the gentleman?"--Juliet replies,

I'll look to like, if looking liking move./But no more deep will I endart mine eye/Than your consent gives strength to make it fly. (I,iii,101-103)

It is again Romeo, rather than Juliet who is infatuated with appearances in Act II.  For, after he scales the walls of the Capulet orchard, he stands in awe under her balcony:

But soft!  What light through yonder window breaks?

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief

That though her maid art far more fair than she....

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand!

Oh! that I were a glove upon that hand

That I might touch that cheek! II,ii,1-25)

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First of all, you are assuming that women do actually choose on looks and not on how nice a person is.  You have surely seen ugly men with wives or girlfriends, so you know that this is not always true.

Second, you can argue that human beings have evolved to prefer people who look good.  We presumably want to have children with people who are "fit."  If we do, then our genes can live on.  This could make us naturally want to reproduce with people who look good because looking good might signal to us that they have good genes and are good survivors.

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