• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the ways Shakespeare portrays the ambiguity of Juliet's character her insubordination to, and relationship with her parents.

Extracts from this document...


Coursework Essay Romeo and Juliet Explore the ways Shakespeare portrays the ambiguity of Juliet's character her insubordination to, and relationship with her parents. William Shakespeare's tragic play, Romeo and Juliet, is a story of hatred wounds reopened through the love of between rival families, where only death will bring a finale. This story of these town teenagers is set in the 1500s, obviously the culture and general behaviour was very different, and this has a significant effect on the way the story is acted out by the characters. Today, we expect children and teenagers to debate arguments, make decisions for themselves, and be rebellious to their parents and authority in general. But, in the 1500s this was far from normal behaviour. The parents in traditional rich families would control the children in their everyday activities - although the sons were controlled to a lesser extent. Children and daughters especially, would be treated like objects. Children were just obedient, there was no real culture urged to rebel, argue or disobey with their parents. Marriages in these families would also be initiated by the parents, mainly for the daughters though. ...read more.


From act one scene two, Capulet is talking to Paris about the proposed marriage. In this conversation Juliet is referred to and described several times. She is said to be a "stranger in the world" and that she hasn't seen 'fourteen years'. These two quotes prompt the audience to think of Juliet as a dependant girl, without knowledge of the world or maturity. Then Capulet's conversation leads the audience into thinking that Juliet is just a girl, not a woman. He even goes as far as to say that: "Too soon marred are those so early made". This development of the character before she is met is a great scheming device, as before this conversation, Juliet's character was like a blank canvas in the minds of the audience. Although, it is slightly harder for the audience of today, the viewers of this play in the 1500s would have known roughly what to expect, from a high society family like the Capulets. Obviously though Juliet is very different to what is early described by Capulet, amongst others. The small quote of Juliet by the Nurse: "If he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed," is a quote that has great effect, it is one of the first glimpses we get of the 'real Juliet'. ...read more.


The last speech by the Prince and the prologue compliment each other. They act as brackets to the play, both commenting similar views on what happened. These brackets remind the audience of how things went wrong for the "star-crossed lovers" and sort out the play in the audience's minds. The stage direction of Juliet getting down on her knees before her parents is one of very few in the play. Going down onto knees before your elders was seen as a mark of respect and was practised throughout society. As the audience may be swinging in the direction of Capulet's view (seeing Juliet as a "disobedient wretch") the stage direction hesitates this. It shows to the audience that Juliet is not all bad. She may seem disobedient, but she has respect for her parents. It prompts the audience to see Juliet as a matured young woman who can make her own decisions in life. Overall the play offers a very unusual character in Juliet. Throughout the play we can see her rebelliousness to her parents in conversations, and the ambiguity she shows throughout these. This all adds to an effective play that was years ahead of its current audience, in terms of how characters act and behave around each other. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Free essay

    Shakespeare portrays contrasting glimpses of Lord Capulet in his play Romeo and Juliet. Examine ...

    Though he is telling his nephew what to do, shown by his use of two imperative verbs: "content" and "let", he is pleasant in giving his instruction. However, as Capulet's sympathy for Juliet's tears quickly diminished (mentioned previously), so too does his calm tone soon change into anger.

  2. Romeo's Character Development

    In the last scene, Act 5 Scene 3, Romeo is trying to get through to Juliet's tomb, but Paris, the man who was about to marry Juliet, stands in his way. Romeo's true intentions contrast with Paris's opinion of him, because Paris thinks that Romeo wants to continue the feud

  1. Explain you response to the character of Juliet, exploring the ways in which Shakespeare ...

    Shakespeare also uses her language to make the audience empathise with her and feel the suffering she is going through mentally. Shakespeare gives Juliet major soliloquies to make up for her passive role and to inform the audience about Juliet's character, thoughts and state of mind, often women at this

  2. Discuss the relationship between parents and their children in Romeo and Juliet

    This is the extent she is willing to go to, in order to grant Juliet her happiness. The nurse also stands up for Juliet over her Employers; 'You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so'. The shows the audience where the nurse's allegiances' lie, and show her loyalty is to Juliet not the Capulets.

  1. In this essay I will be talking about the relationship between Juliet and her ...

    In act 1 scene 3 lady Capulet talks to Juliet about marriage but she uses a very formal language 'how stands your disposition to be married' this is Lady Capulet saying what is your opinion of getting married, this use of formal language towards Juliet shows that lady Capulet has no real love for her.

  2. How would a modern and Elizabethan audience react to the way that Shakespeare portrays ...

    Although this is true, he also highly values the need for his daughter to marry well and to someone of which he approves, which is why Paris, a handsome, somewhat self-absorbed and very wealthy gentlemen who her Father deems more than suitable to be Juliet's husband, creates issues in Juliet's

  1. Romeo & Juliet : Relationship between Juliet & Parents

    In today's society this would never happen; a daughter would never have to beg just to speak to her father. Another difference was the mother-daughter relationships in Shakespearean times. The mother spent less time as the mother and more time assisting her husband as a wife.

  2. How is the relationship between Juliet and her parents presented in the play 'Romeo ...

    This scene ends dramatically as Juliet has a dilemma; marry Paris and remain Verona or find Romeo and never see her family again. In Act 3 Scene 5 the audience gets to learn a great deal about the characters, Lord Capulet is shown as a demanding father, who cannot deal with disobedience.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work