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Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the theme of parental conflict in the play of Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the theme of parental conflict in the play of Romeo and Juliet Parental conflict, between the parent and the child is a major issue within our society; it has been a major issue for centuries, not just a recent problem. There are a variety of reasons for parental conflict, such as misunderstandings between parents and children, and parent's failing to recognize how mature their children really are. Other reasons maybe that parents have too much control over their children, and disapprove of their friends, and arranged marriages. In Shakespeare's time arranged marriages were common in rich families because they wanted to make sure that their children would have a safe and secure future. This would also insure that their large and extended family would also be able to survive. Love marriages were not considered to be successful; they were a newly arising concept to the sixteenth century. Parental conflict was common because parents did not allow children to explore love and relationships. The parents would have their interests in the power and financial position of the person that would marry their child and if the child was to fall in love with another person, then this would result to conflict. ...read more.

Middle

This displays that Lord Capulet is a reasonable and forward thinking father who does not fit our expectations of a typical 16th century father. When Juliet's parents arrange her marriage to Paris, in two days time, Lady Capulet says: "...now I'll tell the joyful tidings, girl ...thou hast a careful father, child, One who, to put thee from thy heaviness, Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy" The words "joyful tidings" describes how happy Lord Capulet is about the marriage and he is sympathetic towards Juliet's feelings and he wants her to be happy and the word "careful father" means that Juliet has a relaxed and easy father who does not rush or force things. By using the words "put thee from thy heaviness", Lady Capulet is saying that her father has taken the weight off her shoulders and by saying "hath sorted a sudden day of joy". Later on in the play, Lord Capulet's expectational attitude changes when Juliet refuses to marry Paris and he says: "my fingers itch" "And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, for by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee" This is when he wants to hit her because she has not met Lord Capulet expectations and society's expectations of an obedient daughter. ...read more.

Conclusion

Some parents have certain expectations of their children and it would cause them distress if these were not fulfilled. Juliet fell in love with Romeo because she was unaware of her parent's expectations; this was due to a lack of communication and understanding. Once Juliet had fallen in love with Romeo, conflict was inevitable. When she had found out about her parents wishes, it was too late for anything to be done because she was already madly in love with him. However Juliet continues to plan her own wedding, when she was in full knowledge and understanding of the situation. Then she deliberately goes ahead with the wedding without the consent of her parents, this is Juliet's fault and when her parents find out, there is parental conflict. Both of her parents had expectations and they cared for her because they thought that she would fulfil these expectations. When Juliet went against these expectations, she shattered her parent's hopes and dreams. This caused a change in attitude from her parents. Another factor that caused the parental conflict was that Juliet was growing throughout the play and once she had fallen in love with Romeo, she wanted to be able to make decisions by herself. This cause of conflict is no unique to the sixteenth century, there are parallels in today's society, certain religions and cultures expect arranged marriages to take place. 1 ...read more.

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