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Romeo and Juliet

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SHAKESPEARE COURSEWORK "ROMEO AND JULIET" A discussion of the character of Juliet as a woman/girl of her time and an analysis of what extent her character changes and develops throughout the play, and why this is so. How would you act Juliet or direct the actor playing the part so that these ideas were clear to a modern day audience? William Shakespeare wrote and set the play "Romeo and Juliet" in the fifteenth century, a time where society and families were run very differently how they are today. In those times, young girls of Juliet's age (about fourteen) would be married off to men of their parents choice, usually someone that the family respected and got along well with. It was quite unheard of for a young girl or boy to refuse to marry the person of their parents' choice, this would disgrace the family. Of course, this made young people's choices quite narrow and for many young girls and boys, they might have felt quite scared and helpless. Juliet was brought up in a large family, the Capulets who had a constant history of quarrelling and rioting with another large family group, the Montagues. In these days, it would be a disgrace to the family even to be seen talking to a member of the other family. ...read more.


She has never been in this position before, but now she knows the proposition of marriage is serious, she may realise she has to change and do something to prevent it. She feels so strongly about it that she dives in at the deep end and gets heavily involved with Romeo. She even admits herself that she has been "too fond" A girl in that day would never dream of doing what she had said if they did they would be heavily frowned upon and seen as a disgrace. But Juliet just got involved with Romeo without a second thought. Juliet can be seen as a little too easily led at this point and quite young and na�ve for letting herself been drawn into such a dangerous position. She is just at the age of adolescence and at that age, especially in girls, they seem to jump at the chance of any romantic relationship. On the other hand, her actions could not be so rash. You could tell in the first scene we saw Juliet that she was unhappy about marriage but she couldn't speak out about it. If this was so, she must have been agonizing sub-consciously in her mind for a while about how she could get out of marrying and Romeo seems the perfect excuse to disobey her parents. ...read more.


In Act 4, Scene 3 Juliet does the most dramatic thing she has done in the whole play. She has gone to such measures that she doesn't even know if she will wake up, to be with Romeo. This seems crazy and obscene, but maybe Juliet felt so pushed away by her family that she had to do that. It seems as if Juliet has got too heavily involved with Romeo. It has changed her completely and she has gone so far that she is risking her own life. She is totally sad and helpless in this scene-"My dismal scene I needs must act alone". The effect Romeo has had on Juliet seems to be extremely powerful. Would Juliet of changed so much if it weren't for Romeo? It is a hard question to answer because you know that Juliet never wanted to marry Paris. But without Romeo I don't think she would have taken the initiative to do something about it. The change of character of Juliet is dramatic over such a short period of time and shows how much her family's decisions turned her against them but also how much of an impact Romeo had on Juliet. I would direct Juliet to look very drained and worn out and confused. I would do this so the audience would see what a tragic and twisted thing has happened. Miranda Holt 11.6 ...read more.

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