• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does the play Romeo and Juliet suggest that attitudes towards marriage and family life were very different in 15th Century Italy.

Extracts from this document...


How does the play Romeo and Juliet suggest that attitudes towards marriage and family life were very different in 15th Century Italy and in Elizabethan times than in today's society? How might Shakespeare's contemporary audience have responded to the story of the star-crossed lovers and how might we respond to it today? When Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall for each other their love is doomed by the seething hate their families share for one another. Their relationship is further wounded as the Capulets have already chosen Paris as a suitor for their daughter. Their relationship faces tragic inevitability as its seems fate is against them and the family's hate overshadows the young couples love. The audience's ideals of love are immortalised in the story of Romeo + Juliet as good conquers evil. Although the couple dies for each other, the Montagues and Capulets see the results of their foolishness through the loss of their offspring and vow to change their ways The play Romeo and Juliet is widely loved because it portrays the power of true love i.e. they die for each other because they cannot be together. It appeals to a wide range of people of all ages, as its genre is flexible in the way that has been ...read more.


However, she shows love continually throughout the play. Although the Nurse is Juliet's servant, the attitude of that is hidden, as they are very close. Act 1, scene 3; is where we first see the Nurse. This is the scene that we can gather her background information. The two sit together reminiscing on the "good old days". She can remember the exact date of Juliet's birth, a sign of a close connection. Today people get married because they love and trust each other and would like to be committed to each other. Men and women both have equal responsibilities and marriage is not essential for having children. Whereas in the 15th Century people married because their parents had arranged the marriage as they thought it was a suitable match. Juliet did not want to marry Paris this is clear in the play when Juliet says, "I will not marry yet.' This shows that she is not prepared to marry just anyone, especially not somebody who means nothing to her and that she wants her marriage to mean something to her. She wants to marry for love. During the 15th Century, only wealth and security were relevant in a marriage. ...read more.


what love can do, that dares love attempt:" Although the language used is much different from today, it is made obvious to the audience what the two lovers are saying, as it is spoken very softly and quite beautifully. Their love for each other is obvious to the audience, even without actions. The words of this scene say and do everything. A lot has changed since the play was written in the 15th century when it comes to love, marriage and family life. However I believe that the play 'Romeo and Juliet' would have the same affect on an audience back then as it would on a modern day audience. Romeo and Juliet does not make a specific moral statement about the relationships between love and society, religion, and family; rather, it portrays the chaos and passion of being in love, combining images of love, violence, death, religion, and family in an impressionistic rush leading to the play's tragic conclusion. That is what makes it so interesting. In the play, love emerges as an amoral thing, leading as much to destruction as to happiness. But in its extreme passion, the love that Romeo and Juliet experience also appears so exquisitely beautiful that few would want, or be able, to resist its power. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet essays

  1. How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

    (act 1 scene 5)This was used lot in Shakespeare plays. What also added to the tension is that the ball has been set up for the announcement of pairs proposing to Juliet "LADY CAPULET: marry, that 'marry' is the very theme I came to talk of.

  2. Free essay

    romeo & juliet - relationships

    brief, / the valiant Paris seeks you for his love'; it is the nurse who comforts Juliet and wishes her joy 'seek happy nights to happy days'. The sexual reference shows how comfortable at ease she is with Juliet, whereas her mother's formal sonnet focuses on the more material aspect of the relationship she is about to form.

  1. I am writing to inform you that I have been chosen to play the ...

    At the beginning of the Play Juliet is a na�ve child who has thought little about love and marriage. However, after falling in love with Romeo, the son of her family's great enemy she seems to grow up very quickly.

  2. The different attitudes to love

    Friar Lawrence has a very different view to love than anyone else as he does believe in true love as he marries Romeo and Juliet. However, one of the only reasons he does this is because he thinks that it might stop the feuding between the two houses.

  1. Love is an important theme in the play. Explain the different attitudes towards love? ...

    Telling Juliet that "she will get but a little rest" in the county Paris company on their wedding night. When Romeo meets up with his friends after the ball, they make fun of him. Mercutio in particular makes crude comments about where he has been thinking he's been lusting over Rossaline.

  2. How does Shakespeare create an impact on the audience in Romeo and Juliet? Is ...

    is one of Shakespeare's favourite language devices. He uses it extensively in all his plays, this is because antithesis powerfully expresses conflict through its uses of opposites, and conflict is the essence of all drama, therefore it creates an impact on the audience. In Romeo and Juliet, conflict occurs in many forms: Montague versus Capulet, life versus death and age versus youth.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work