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Assignment: Examine the development of Juliet's character in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet"

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Romeo and Juliet NEAB Coursework: Shakespeare Assignment on "Romeo and Juliet" Assignment: Examine the development of Juliet's character in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" Introduction Juliet is a young girl living in Elizabethan times. She is from a rich background. Although the play is set in Italy, it is really about English characters. Shakespeare is giving a glimpse of a thirteen year old girl (Juliet) living in the Sixteenth century. The nurse is like a mother to Juliet. She is very important in her life. When Lady Capulet is talking about Juliet, she says "...Thou knowest my daughter's of a pretty age" (p.25) and the nurse replies "... I can tell her age unto an hour." (p.25) showing she is close to Juliet as most parents would be conscious of the precise age of their children. This shows that Lady Capulet has not spent a great deal of time with Juliet. Lady Capulet may only have limited contact with Juliet because in 16th Century Elizabethan times, it was customary to employ a maid or nurse to look after your child. It was a show of wealth, so that if you have a nurse for your child, you are looked upon as being rich. Juliet's parents expect her obedient. Juliet is requested to marry by her parents, but falls in love with her family's worst enemy, Romeo. ...read more.


Juliet chooses to defy her family again by continuing to love Romeo even after he has killed Tybalt, Juliet's cousin. Oxymoron's are used in this scene. An Oxymoron contains two contradictory or incongruous words which are brought together to make a striking expression. When Juliet hears of Tybalt's death, the description of him is "beautiful tyrant" and "damned saint". These words contradict one another. Beautiful meaning nice and pleasant. Wail Tyrant meaning oppressive. Also, damned, meaning condemned to hell and saint referring to the heavens. When she hears of his death, she still wants to see Romeo. When the nurse asks Juliet "Will you speak well of him that has killed your husband?" (p.107) Juliet replies "Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?" (p.107). The power of fathers in Juliet's days saw their daughters as their property. Daughters were practically a commodity to there fathers. They would be married off to wealthy men to bring more money and power into the fathers family. Juliet defies her father by not doing as he asks her. This must have made Capulet, Juliet's father, very angry that she defied him. So his actions when she refuses to marry would have probably not been his everyday emotions towards her. When she pleads to him for forgiveness, he reply's "Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!" (p.133) which shows that Capulet, Juliet's father, is very angry with Juliet. Juliet's relationship with her father before this incident was quite reasonable. ...read more.


(p.133) and tells her to "...get thee to church a'Thursday, Or never after look me in the face." (p.133) showing he will disown her is she does not marry Paris. This shows how deeply he wishes his daughter to be married to Paris. He threatens her by saying "My fingers itch." (p.133) showing he is on the point of hitting his daughter, something which would not be allowed in today's world. Conclusion: I think that Juliet is overwhelmed by her love for Romeo. She loses her sense and betrays her family and Tybalt, her murdered cousin. She behaved like this because she is so attracted to Romeo that she is willing to forgive him for his. Her family put pressure on Juliet to marry by threatening to disown her, like when Capulet said "...get thee to church a'Thursday, Or never after look me in the face." (p.133) which must have shocked Juliet. I feel angry with her family over this because they do not listen to what Juliet wants and only think about what they want, more power and wealth. I think her actions at the end of the play were fitting with Juliet's attitude. She dies saying "Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die." (p.185) showing that if she cannot be with Romeo, then she would rather not be at all. Juliet's role in the play defies what her traditional role should have been, to obey her parents. She could not see sense and comfort once she fell in love with Romeo and this eventually lead to tragedy ...read more.

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