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How does Shakespeare portray family relationships in Romeo and Juliet? What comparisons can we make with family life today?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare portray family relationships in Romeo and Juliet? What comparisons can we make with family life today? Even today, family life as represented by The Royale family shows similarities to Romeo and Juliet. Both productions involve young lovers, for instance; Anthony and Emma from The Royale family are comparable to Romeo and Juliet and they are sleeping together. Furthermore, both The Royale family and Romeo and Juliet involve parties - where everyone is having a good time. Traditional family values are also show in The Royale family; this is because the men are busy drinking and the women are in the kitchen. I personally believe that the Granny character in The Royale family is the equivalent to the nurse in Romeo and Juliet. I believe this because both characters are obsessed with sex. For example in Romeo and Juliet, Act 1 Scene 3 the Nurse says - "Thou wilt fall backward when thou has more wit". Also granny talks about homosexuals a lot- "But what do they actually do?" On the contrary - I do notice that there are differences between Romeo and Juliet and the relationships between parents and children today. Both Romeo's and Juliet's parents are distant from their children. I notice that Romeo's parents are never shown on stage with him. ...read more.

Middle

In Act 4 Scene 2 Juliet plays the dutiful daughter. This is because she has confronted the friar and now has decided to pretend she wants to marry Paris. Before Capulet refers to Juliet as "A peevish self-will'd harlotry". However, as soon as he finds out that Juliet will marry Paris there is subtlety of the use of language, "This is as't should be. Let me see the County". This is subtle because earlier Capulet lost control of himself - however, as soon as Capulet finds that his daughter decides to do as he pleases he calms down In Act 3 Scene 5 Juliet challenges her father's authority for the first time in her life. Capulet used his strong language to threaten and insult Juliet; he made such comments as, "Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!" Capulet's strong language in this scene showed his superiority over Juliet. At first, he seems as though he cared about Juliet when she was crying, but he soon became almost uncontrollable in anger. Lady Capulet also looses her patience with Juliet, and at one point wishes her dead - "I would the fool were married to her grave!" This differs to Capulet's temper nearer the beginning of the play when Romeo turned up to the ball, and Capulet stopped Tybalt making a scene because of the different names they possessed. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think the nurse enjoys withholding information because she likes to tease Juliet. However, some may say that the reason she withholds the information is because she is afraid of loosing Juliet. In Act 3 Scene 2 the nurse withholds information yet again when Tybalt has died and Romeo has been banished. Perhaps the nurse withheld this information because she was in shock and was upset because of Tybalts death. Although the Nurse is 'larger than life' she also makes the audience appreciate the sadder more emotional moments. She showed her pathos and sadness when Tybalt died. "Ah well-a-day, he's dead, he's dead, he's dead! We are undone. Alack the day, he's gone, he's killed, he's dead!". She often uses repetition and sometimes loses the point, but we still feel her pathos and are aware that she is in pain, and she has lost someone that is close to her. To conclude, I would like to comment on my knowledge of family life in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet. I have learnt: the authority husbands had over wives and daughters, the authority uncles had over their nieces, the way children used to be brought up with someone else and how it compares to life today. I notice the way in which both families don't understand the importance of the feud, and how it will damage their son's/daughter's life. However, without this feud, there would be no meaning to Romeo and Juliet. Abigail Barker 10Fs ...read more.

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