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How does Shakespeare show Juliet's changing state of mind and feelings through language and drama?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare show Juliet's changing state of mind and feelings through language and drama? My first impressions of Juliet were that she was a young, innocent girl who respected her parents and nurse and would do anything they asked of her. When Juliet's mother first suggests marrying Paris, Juliet says, "I'll look to like, if looking liking move". This shows total obedience towards her mother and supports my first impressions. However, although she is very respectful of her mother, she seems to be much closer and affectionate towards her nurse. I first acknowledged this in act 1 scene 3 when Juliet's mother asks the nurse to leave. She then immediately calls the nurse back as she realizes that the nurse knows her daughter better than she does. Juliet was supposed to meet Paris at a Capulet party arranged by her parents, but it is at this party that Juliet first meets Romeo, a Montague. There is an instant connection between Romeo and Juliet. This scene was written as a sonnet, which was traditionally used for love poems and therefore makes the scene more significant. Romeo and Juliet constantly use religious imagery in this scene which makes there love seem more pure. At this point they do not realize that one is a Capulet and one is a Montague, two families on the opposite of an ancient grudge. ...read more.

Middle

'It is a honour that I dream not of,' [line 69 act 1 scene 3] is Juliet's reply to her mother's difficult question of marriage. This is resourceful because she says she is not ready, but at the same time using honour to compliment her mother, thus keeping her on Juliet's side. As with the Nurse Juliet is very patient with her when the Nurse reminisces at length about her past, 'and since that time it is eleven years,' [line 38 act 1 scene 3]. This scene also really shows how close Juliet is with the Nurse, 'Thou was the prettiest babe that ever I nursed,' [line 63 act 1 scene 3], which is a compliment Nurse gives to Juliet. Juliet is loving towards the Nurse and takes her advice seriously, that is why Lady Capulet calls her back, 'Nurse come back again,' [line 9 act 1 scene 3], to talk about marriage. At the end of this scene the Nurse says Paris is, 'He's a man of wax,' [line 79 act 1 scene 3], which is a metaphor, and also Lady Capulet says Paris is a flower to compliment him. Act 2 Scene 5 is Juliet's main scene with the Nurse. In this scene Juliet is again immature like in act 2 scene 2, and also petulant. You can see this when she is waiting for Romeo's reply about marriage. ...read more.

Conclusion

Act 5 scene 3 is the final scene and like in the last scene Juliet is again bold in her decision. She has just awoken to the site of Romeo's dead body and the Friar has left her. She now has a choice either to go away where the Friar sends her or to die with Romeo. She decides to kill herself,' O happy dagger. This is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die,' [lines 175 & 176 act 5 scene 3]. I feel this was a necessary decision due to her other option, which would not lead to a promising future with no money or skills. Also in Elizabethan times once you are dead you go to heaven although suicide was against God. Even so Juliet loved Romeo enough to go against God. In conclusion I feel Juliet is immature at the start, but develops as the play goes on. Throughout she uses her brain to get out of tough situations, like in act 1 scene 3 when asked about marriage. Then towards the end she becomes more independent and shows maturity and inner strength. I believe this play is about the effect of hate in society. It shows how futile it is and the consequences of it on people's lives like Romeo and Juliet. This play is a tragedy like others of Shakespeare's, such as 'Macbeth' and 'Richard the III.' Like in this play, good conquers evil. The families in this play make friends at the end and both the evil Macbeth and Richard III dying in theirs. ...read more.

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