What View of Father/Daughter Relationship is Presented in Romeo and Juliet?
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Hazel Solly 10am What View of Father/Daughter Relationship is Presented in Romeo and Juliet? During the Play of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare portrays a very strong relationship between Juliet and her father, Lord Capulet. His initial attitude shows him as a caring, protective father who wants what is best for his daughter. This caring manner continues until Scene 5 of Act 3, in which Juliet defies her father, who wishes for her to marry the County Paris. This scene acts as a turning point in the play; Lord Capulet is now shown as a malevolent father who has his own intentions for his daughter's future. However, when Juliet returns apologetically to her father, and agrees to marry Paris, he once again returns to being the loving and caring father we initially identified. Lord Capulet's initial attitude to his daughter was generally kind and compassionate. He calls her his 'hopeful lady of my earth' which implies that he expects her to do well for herself.
This would suggest that Lord Capulet has a very influential personality, and he is able to get other people to do what he wants them to because of his authority, and their fear of what he will say if they, like Juliet did, refuse to co-operate. Lord Capulet's view of a daughter is that they are almost like property, who should be married to a handsome and wealthy gentleman when they are old enough to take on this responsibility. It was usual for this to happen, and so was not treated with the same scepticism as today. In one of Paris' meetings with Lord Capulet he tells him that 'younger than she are happy mothers made'. This implies that girls who are younger than Juliet are not only already married, but mothers as well. Even when her own mother asks her about marriage, she says it is 'an honour I dream not of', suggesting she does not feel ready for marriage, even when her mother reminds us that 'younger than you ...
He recognises that he has not treated his daughter with the respect she needed, and is aware that she had to marry Romeo secretly because he would never have agreed to it. It is this recognition of the error of his ways that leaves the audience feeling that Lord Capulet is a good father. He acts upon what he has learnt straight away by calling Lord Montague his 'brother', and asking him to 'give me thy hand' to help them reach a better understanding. Behind Lord Capulet's capricious façade, we see a father who cares for his daughter, but does not always know how to show it. His unpredictable nature was due to this, and it is not until the end of the play when the 'true' Lord Capulet is revealed. He shows remorse towards the death of his daughter and Romeo also, and looks towards the Montagues to help each other in grieving for their children by settling the dispute between the families. Overall, Capulet is a good father to Juliet, but his influential position makes him feel under constant pressure to do what is right; both for his daughter and his image to the rest of the Capulets.
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