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In Romeo and Juliet Juliet broke the rules that a good daughter and wife should have followed in Verona's times. Juliet fell in love with and married a Montague

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How did Juliet break all the rules? In fifteenth century Verona women were treated as an object. They were not to disobey their father and husband for fear of being rejected by the family and thus losing their name. Without a name a woman was worth nothing. The setting of fifteenth century Verona was a very patriarchal society. This means that everything was run by men. Women however, instead of being loved for their personality (and often great sense of humour) were judged purely upon beauty. Although this may seem unjust to women living in the 21 century women in 15th century Verona could wish for nothing more than a kind husband and a generous and wealthy father. In those days everything was about status. If two families of equal nobility lived in the same vicinity there was bound to be trouble. In Romeo and Juliet Juliet broke the rules that a good daughter and wife should have followed in Verona's times. Juliet fell in love with and married a Montague! This was socially unacceptable because the status quo of a family would determine how respected and how rich a family was and this could be easily upset if a marriage of two enemies tipped the balance. ...read more.


Juliet also refused to marry Paris, a wealthy and well respected man that Lord Capulet would have felt privileged to have as a son in law. Much to her fathers disgust Juliet blatantly refused to marry him in act three scene five when she claims that "He shall make me there not a joyful bride". This, quite understandably, so infuriates Lord Capulet, so much so, that he has to fight the temptation to hit her as he felt his "fingers itch". He also calls her "young baggage". This is in reference to the patriarchal side of society in those days. Men then, especially those with high status, wished for there wife to give birth to a boy because they could be self sufficient and can gain a place in society. Girls however were a burden to there father's as they had to find them a wealthy and respectable husband who could care for his daughters needs. Until then they had to pay for their upkeep. After Juliet refused to marry Paris she was disowned by her family. She pleads to her mother saying "O sweet my mother, cast me not away!" Her mother does what she was expected to do by the 15th century standards and replied "Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee". ...read more.


It is wrong to lie nowadays but back in fifteenth century Verona it was even more unacceptable. When Juliet decided to go and get married behind her fathers back she wove a tangled web of lies to her father, mother, nurse and other relatives. To blame her refusal of marriage on Tybalt's death was a lie. To try and fake her own death so that she could run off and live with Romeo was yet another lie. This meant that the story could not have a happy conclusion. The unwritten laws of society had been broken and someone had to pay the consequences. Juliet had to die for her flagrant disregard for everything that the Elizabethans held dear. If she did not die then the play had no warning for the impressionable onlookers. Without her death there would be no reinforcement on the male stronghold on society. In conclusion, Juliet's attitude and actions throughout the play spelt imminent disaster. She went behind her fathers back to get married to an enemy of the family, refused to marry a respectable gentleman and continued to lie to her father to cover her rebellion. The play could never end in happiness as a warning to the audience. Shakespeare's moral that he wanted to get across was 'do not break the rules of society unless you want to pay the consequences' By Ashleigh Tilley ...read more.

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