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Discuss the role of parents and parent substitutes in Romeo and Juliet. How responsible are these adults for this tragedy?

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Discuss the role of parents and parent substitutes in Romeo and Juliet. How responsible are these adults for this tragedy? Romeo and Juliet is a sixteenth century Shakespearean tragedy set in the Italian city of Verona. It is the story of an "ancient grudge" between two households, the Montagues and the Capulets. The play describes the events over five days in which a young Montague, Romeo meets and falls in love with a young Capulet, Juliet. However Capulet, Juliet's father has a different plan and arranges to marry Juliet to the Prince's kinsman, Paris. This would have been usual for the time in which the play was set and so an arranged marriage would have been no surprise for Juliet or the original audience of the play. However Juliet refuses to marry Paris, because she has already married Romeo in secret by the Friar Lawrence, this is known by the audience but not by Juliet's father. The fact that Juliet has denied her fathers wish annoys him and causes an argument between the two. It is this argument that makes Juliet go to Friar Lawrence's cell and request a remedy to the situation. ...read more.

Middle

caring father who tried to delay the marriage a couple of years just a couple of days before, now Capulet is insulting her and threatening to throw her out. The harsh words used by Capulet would have been used by Shakespeare to build up sympathy for Juliet as she is being cast aside by her father. But she does not give up in trying to resolve her problem she continues to plead with her mother even after Capulet has departed her chamber, "O sweet my mother, cast me not away! Delay this marriage for a month, a week, Or if you do not, make the bridal bed In that dim monument where Tybalt lies." showing how determined Juliet is to try a live 'happily ever after' with Romeo that she will kill herself if she is forced to marry Paris. But Capulet wasn't the only parent who had little to do Juliet, Lady Capulet was also isolated from her daughter and her upbringing, not what would be expected of a mother nowadays but again this was usual in Shakespeare's time. Lady Capulet does have little more to do with Juliet however as she visits Juliet in her chamber when instructed to do so by Capulet. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Friar's plan seemed fail proof until Capulet decided to bring the wedding day forward, meaning that Juliet was forced to take the potion early and Romeo did not receive the letter in time. Looking at the evidence I have decided that there is not one parent or parent substitute that can be blamed for the tragic ending in Romeo and Juliet but several main factors combined with several smaller events are the reason the tragic ending to the play. In my view the only way that the tragic ending could have been averted is if all of the parents and parent substitutes were in formed of the situation between Romeo and Juliet and had been persuaded to set aside the grudge and negotiate terms agreeable by both. Unfortunately this was almost impossible and so the tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet was simply fate. Shakespeare talks about the unavoidable fate of Romeo and Juliet in the Prologue, "Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents' strife." These lines talk about how Romeo and Juliet were overthrown, suggesting it was out of their hands, fate. But the next line also tells us that it was the "parents' strife" which implies that it was the fault of the parents that caused the tragic deaths. ...read more.

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