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  • Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Essay length: 1834 words

How does Shakespeare present father/daughter relationships in Act 3 Scene 5 of "Romeo and Juliet"

Extracts from this essay...

Introduction

How does Shakespeare present father/daughter relationships in Act 3 Scene 5 of "Romeo and Juliet"? Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare in mid-1590s. The play portrays the most famous love story in the English literature, and possibly also the most well known love story in the world. Romeo and Juliet describes two "star-crossed lovers" whose undying love for each other eventually led to their prophetical deaths. The play focuses on a passionate, ecstatic, uncontrollable force of love, especially the extreme passion that springs up from first sight. "Did my heart love till now, forswear it sight, /For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." (Act 1, Scene 5). The main obstacle between Romeo and Juliet's unity of love is the long hatred between their families, the Montagues and the Capulets. It is therefore possible to see Romeo and Juliet as a battle between the lovers' social responsibilities and their private, personal desires. Indeed, much of the play involves their struggles against both explicit and implicit oppositions from public and social institutions. The enmity between their families creates a profound conflict for Romeo and Juliet, who must rebel against their heritages "O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?/ Deny thy father and refuse thy name." (Act2, Scene 2); the patriarchal structure in Renaissance period (where the play is set)

Middle

Lord Capulet, as the patriarch of the family, although loves his daughter dearly, is not well acquainted with Juliet's thoughts or feelings, he believes Paris to be a good match for her and therefore expects Juliet to be obedient and respectful to his choice. "I think she will be ruled in all respects by me; nay more, I doubt it not!" When Lord Capulet first enters the scene he appears to be a kind and generous father who questions humorously why Juliet is crying. "How now a conduit girl, what still in tears/ Evermore showering in one little body?" But when the news of Juliet's refusal to marry Paris is broke to him by Lady Capulet, he instantly becomes extremely angry and starts to throw various insults at Juliet, "Out you green-sickness carrion, out you baggage, /You tallow-face.", both out of frustration (as he has promised Paris that Juliet will not disagree) and also in an attempt to frighten Juliet into accepting the marriage. Although now a women, Juliet is still in a male-dominated world. Modern day audiences would expect her to take her father's offer to disown her and go to Romeo in Mantua to live happily ever after, but that is simply impossible at the time. Juliet being a woman cannot leave society, and her father has the right to make her whatever he wishes.

Conclusion

This sense of fate is felt not only by the audience, but the characters themselves also: Romeo and Juliet constantly see omens. In Act 3, Scene 5 Juliet asks "Is there no pity in the clouds" after her dialogue with Lord Capulet, suggesting that heaven is opposing their love. This is also evident in the events happening around the lover; for example, the feud between their families and the tragic timing of Romeo's suicide and Juliet's awakening. These events are not mere coincidences, but rather manifestations of fate that help bring about the unavoidable outcome of the young lovers' deaths. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet affects the audience with the use of oxymorons (the parallel positioning of light and dark), paradoxes (in its view of love, a ennobling experience or simply lust?), and double entendres. The intense pace of its action, which is compressed from nine months into four days, adds to the tension of the play, provides a powerful enrichment to the story's thematic aspects. The play represents a pradox in its views of love(asking 'is love a supremely ennobling experience or merely a mystification of lust? One of the most powerful aspects of Romeo and Juliet is the language. The characters curse, vow oaths, banish each other, and generally play with the language through overuse of action verbs. In addition, the play is saturated Even the use of names is called into question, with Juliet asking what is in the name Romeo that denies her the right to love him.

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