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Attitudes To Marriage In "Romeo And Juliet"

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Attitudes To Marriage In "Romeo And Juliet" Our modern day attitudes to marriage differ greatly from the Elizabethan attitudes that are displayed in William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. Most noticeably is the fact that Paris went to Capulet to ask for Juliet's hand in marriage before he even approached Juliet, something that happens very rarely, if ever, nowadays. I think the main reason for the difference in marriage between Shakespeare's time and modern day is that women now have a lot more rights and say in their life than then. This is most noticeable in the way that Capulet decides, after Tybalt's death, that it would be in Juliet's best interests to marry Paris, in what seems to be the act of a loving father trying to make his daughter happy. But when Lady Capulet tells Juliet that she will 'Marry (Paris), my child, early next Thursday morn,' Lord Capulet having decided who to and when without consulting Juliet. ...read more.


the streets as a prostitute as no man would marry her and she would therefore have no means of support or money. Another big difference between love and marriage in 'Romeo and Juliet' and now is the idea of courtly love. This was a set way that the upper class should behave in relation to love and what we would call dating. It is a European tradition that originated in the Middle Ages and was still popular in the 16th Century. We see this displayed in Romeos obsession with Rosaline, he falls for a Capulet, someone unattainable. He then goes around depressed and talking in riddles and rhymes about his love for her that do not make any sense. His passion for her is only greatened by her show of disinterest in him, he continues in this vain until he meets Juliet and he experiences true love. This practise is totally unheard of in modern times and would seem to us as absurd, as nowadays if a woman was to act disinterested the man would more than likely loss interest in her and concentrate his attentions on someone else. ...read more.


The play also addresses the fact that the 'pair of star-crossed lovers' only achieved their aim of being together truly, when they died in each other's arms. This asks the question does true love only come with death, this can be backed up with the fact that their death brought peace to their feuding families, a case of love, brought about by death, defeated a hate that went back longer than anyone could remember. In conclusion marriage in Shakespeare's time was very different to marriage today in three main ways; the age that you get married, the reasons for getting married and whether or not you choose whom you marry. I think the reason for this is that women are treated as equals now and are not socially and financially dependant on men - their fathers or their partners, so they can choose whom they marry and when they marry. But the most important difference now is that people can choose to marry the one they love and not the one who will support them or who their father deems to be right. By Christopher Delaney 1265 ...read more.

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