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Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Juliet in Romeo and Juliet .'The play was written in the 1600's, at this time the role of women was vastly different than their role in today's society. The woman was to be the dutiful housewife, being expected to run the house cook meals and look after the children. In wealthy families girls were subject to their fathers will. Marriage was a business contract, not about love, but to keep land and wealth within a family. Girls were raised to be obedient to their parents. Children in the 1600's were to be seen and not heard a lot like later Victorian times. The girls were not to be formally educated they were to stay at and help their mothers with everyday jobs such as washing and cleaning. However this is no longer the case. Women are more and more frequently following the same career paths as men. They also have more rights. Both of these mean women are now equal to men. In the play, Juliet is fourteen, her father feels she should want to become a wife. " She hath not seen the change of fourteen years" However unlike other marriages at the time her father wants her to be happy and try to love a gentleman called Count Paris. ...read more.

Middle

In exchange Juliet never cunning, she is always sincere. While Romeo is rhapsodising over love, she realises how rash their avowals of love may be. "too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden." Juliet responds to Romeo with generosity and infinite love. Romeo is lost in a happy dream, but Juliet looks ahead, it is she who suggests marriage. She is resourceful. She shows no fear of disobeying her parents, "what O'clock shall I send for thee tomorrow?" whilst Romeo is comparing silver sweet sounds, loves, loves tongue to the softest music. However Juliet too can be poetical, she is able to express her love for Romeo with intensity and feeling. " my county is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep" It is interesting that Juliet is the first one to mention marriage. " if that thy bat of love be honourable, thy purpose marriage." Juliet trusts the nurse. She is the only person Juliet confides in. "to ask his name if he be married." She trusts the nurse with such a message to take to Romeo. This shows the strength of their relationship. She can put on a good show to get her own way. She also trusts the nurse in telling Romeo to meet her for a night of passion. ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet has no choice but to agree to the Friar's desperate scheme, she has neither family, nurse nor husband to support her. " My dismal scene needs must act alone." She agrees to take the potion this shows her courage and determination, with child like horror she goes through everything that could go wrong with taking the potion, finally realising she has no other option, drinks the potion with great courage. The potion heightens the drama of the scene as she is isolated from her family and friends. Juliet is true and faithful because when she awakes in the tomb the first thing she says with child like simplicity "where is my Romeo?" she is deserted once again, this lime however by the Friar. When she realises that Romeo is dead, she is ^courageous to the last minute she stabs her self. Her last act is immediate and determined and successful, it is expressive of her love for Romeo and is keeping with her character and everything she has done through out the play. However at the end of the play she is still a 14 year old girl with her whole life in front of her. She succumbs to an adolescent^ despair. At the end of the play Lord Montague says " I will raise her statue in pure gold. The deaths of Romeo and Juliet brings harmony and unison to the two families. Lord Montague at the end realises Juliet has been "true and faithful" ...read more.

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