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Examine the theme of parental conflict in Romeo and Juliet. Discuss the relevance of this theme for both a modern day audience and a Shakespearean audience.

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Introduction

Examine the theme of parental conflict in Romeo and Juliet. Discuss the relevance of this theme for both a modern day audience and a Shakespearean audience. In Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet there is a theme of parental conflict present. An Elizabethan and modern day audience would react differently to issues raised about parental conflict in the play. I intend to look at the differences and analyse them to highlight contrasts between these societies and show how Shakespeare is still relevant today. I will set my essay out in a structure; I will begin by writing about the father daughter relationship, move on to the mother daughter relationship, importance of nurse and friar, and relationship with nurse. I will end the essay by concluding my points. In each section I will discuss societies expectations behaviour and social code, closeness, attitude, quotes and tone from Romeo and Juliet, characters personality and the message Shakespeare was trying to give out. One of the main relationships shown in Romeo and Juliet is that of the father and daughter. In sixteenth century England the father was treated like the lord and master by all including his wife and children where the property of their parents and were to give them the respect a servant gives a master. ...read more.

Middle

he is saying that Juliet's choice has his consent to marry her. Although Capulet say it is Juliet's choice he probably gets enraged in Act 3 Scene 5 because of the stress of his nephew in law being murdered. He would also be mad with her because he has agreed with Paris about the wedding that he would be embarrassed to call if off because his daughter is making a fuss. It would make it seem he is not a good father and can't keep his daughter under control. I think Shakespeare's message in this part of the play is that fathers must keep control of their daughters as a disobedient girl can bring trouble to her family with her misled ideas of what she wants. Another relationship in Romeo and Juliet is that of the mother and daughter. In a sixteenth century household the mother was meant to co-ordinate the running of the house, this meant telling the servants what they had to do in an upper class house. Wives are the property of their husbands and should treat them as a master and obey their wishes. The mother has a stronger relationship with the daughter than the father but a nurse does most of the responsibilities of raising a child. ...read more.

Conclusion

As Juliet grew up in the care of the Nurse she has grown to be like a best friend to Juliet. Nurse acts as the go between for Romeo and Juliet, " What a'clock / Should I send to thee?" (Act 2 Scene 3 Lines 167- 168) Juliet is asking what time she should send a messenger to find out where and when they shall be married; this messenger is the Nurse. The Nurse has not much to do with Lady or Lord Capulet. A sixteenth century lower class audience would be pleased that such a pillar of society like a Friar and an important member of the household like the Nurse were helping to break down two upper class families by encouraging this couple to go against their parents wishes. The upper classes would be shocked at the possibility that these people they would trust so much could fuel such a pointless affair. A modern audience would be relieved that with all these people against the love of Romeo and Juliet there are a few who will help this relationship to work. The thinking and skills of the Friar would be particularly outstanding in the success of the couple had it not have failed because of a late message. Shakespeare's message about the people we choose trust is that they could be helping a cause that would not be acceptable to us. You are always ignorant of other peoples actions. ...read more.

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