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Explore the ways in which Juliet behaves unconventionally when compared to the noble women in Shakespeare's time.

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Introduction

Alice Heggie 10e/10g4 Romeo and Juliet Explore the ways in which Juliet behaves unconventionally when compared to the noble women in Shakespeare's time. Elizabethan times were very male dominated. In this patriarchal society, women weren't treated as equals, but more as property to their male patriarch, either a husband or father. Also during this period, a girl rarely had a choice in who she married. She had to marry a man who her father thought was fit to be part of the family, either a man with money, property or a title. A girl was usually married by the age of fifteen. Juliet was unfortunate enough to have fallen in love with a young man, who was part of her father's enemy family, the Montague's, whereas Juliet is a Capulet. In Juliet's first meeting with Romeo, they are alone, with no chaperone and without permission from their parents. ...read more.

Middle

This denial of her father makes Capulet look weak, as though he's lost all his power over his daughter, and therefore vulnerable to enemies. As men in this society require passive obedience from women, this makes him look very powerless and he must eliminate this problem. Leaving him no option but to throw her out on the streets, in total poverty, and make her fend for herself. Another good example of how men were treated as god-like in Elizabethan time; Juliet is on her knees begging, and praying, to her father to forgive her, and it's a supplication of the wrath of God. It is ironic that Juliet says she would rather die than marry Paris, as this is exactly what happens to her; "Delay this marriage for a month, a week, or if you do not, make the bridal bed in that dim monument where Tybalt lies." ...read more.

Conclusion

Juliet had the more painful and violent death as she had done most wrong, being a woman. She should have ignored her heart and respected her families opinions, and married Paris. Instead Paris ends up dead, along with several other males. A good example of this is when Juliet's body is found; Romeo, Tybalt and Paris' bodies are all around her, and show the audience how destructive her behaviour was to the people around her. In conclusion to what I have looked at I have learnt that Juliet seems like a rebellious teen, and a female role model. She went against her family for love, no matter what the consequences were. Society has a strong grip on what people think and do, whether they know it is, or want it to. Everybody conforms to the rules laid out by society. It's not a choice anybody has, it's an order. Even in society today everybody has set roles to play, and nobody really realises it but we still have many aspects of Elizabethan society with us today. ...read more.

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