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Choose three significant scenes during the course of Romeo and Juliet to illustrate Juliet's character - Looking closely at Juliet's words, behaviours and responses indicate how she develops as the play progresses towards its tragic conclusion.

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Introduction

Choose three significant scenes during the course of Romeo and Juliet to illustrate Juliet's character. Looking closely at Juliet's words, behaviours and responses indicate how she develops as the play progresses towards its tragic conclusion. Juliet's character is dramatically portrayed in this play. The two main characters, Juliet Capulet and Romeo Montague both change and mature over the progress of the play but Juliet changes from what could be seen as 'girl to woman' in just under a week. There is a definite difference in her personality from the meeting of Romeo to her marriage to him. As the play progresses, we see Juliet maturing and developing into an independent young woman, which is quite different from the beginning of the play when Juliet never thought of marriage or of defying her parents and family. In Scene 1 Act 3 Juliet enters the play alongside Lady Capulet and the Nurse, who approach her to talk about a forthcoming marriage that Lady Capulet and her husband have planned. They want her to marry Paris at the age of thirteen, however with Juliet being so young and unsure of herself, and of what marriage entails, she does not really have anything to say on the issue. Before they start to talk about this subject, the Nurse and Lady Capulet talk about Juliet's age, and Shakespeare seems to make sure that the point she is only thirteen stand out among all other things in order to show her vulnerability and her youthfulness to the audience. ...read more.

Middle

This is showing evidence of the beginnings of rebellion and individualism from her as she normally would have followed the rules of her parents, but now she is doing things behind their back. Scene 3 Act 5 deals with many aspects showing Juliet's capacity for becoming a young woman. She has to make many difficult choices in this scene and there is no one around that she can turn to and look to for help. She has just spent the night with Romeo in her bedroom and warns him that he must leave, otherwise there is the risk of him being caught. However the Nurse comes in warning Juliet that her mother is coming. She must now get Romeo to leave her room so that he isn't found by her mother. However they seem to not be able to part from each other, showing their affection and love for each other. When Lady Capulet enters the room, Juliet feels uncomfortable with her presence there and would rather she left. She says 'Madam, I am not well.' (Line 78) to try to get rid of her but it does not work. Juliet has again to lie to her mother when she says 'Indeed I never shall be satisfied with Romeo, till I behold him - Dead.' (Line 93 & 94). Of course this is not true, but to protect the secret of her relationship to Romeo, she cannot give rise to any suspicions in Lady Capulet, even if this means asking her to kill him. ...read more.

Conclusion

(Line 24-27). Juliet is unsure of whether or not to trust the Friar, showing us that the innocence of her younger self has been replaced by a more cynical distrust of other peoples motives. Her thoughts become very morbid and she starts to imagine the terror of waking up, trapped in the vault with her dead ancestors. She drinks the potion, calling out 'Romeo! Romeo! Romeo! I drink to thee.' (Line 58). Her willingness to take this huge risk shows how desperate she is to be with Romeo and how she cannot bear the thought of being forced to marry Paris, emphasising her true, fully developed, adult love for Romeo. In this play of Shakespeare's, Juliet has turned from a young girl who was not able to make up her own mind about important issues and who was dependent on her family, into a fully developed woman who could look after herself, lie when she had to and was emotionally independent. At the beginning of the play, she had no idea what was really meant by marriage or what love really was. But once she met Romeo, she started to change and mature, and would even deceive her own family in order to protect the love between herself and Romeo. Juliet chose her love of Romeo over everything else, even when it led to their tragic deaths. Her words, behaviours and responses throughout the play, show her development from innocence and naivety through to full maturity as the play reaches its tragic conclusion. Matthew Cuckston 1 ...read more.

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