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

How does Shakespeare show Juliet's character change and develop in Romeo and Juliet?

Extracts from this document...


How does Shakespeare show Juliet's character change and develop in Romeo and Juliet? William Shakespeare began writing 'The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet' in 1589. The soon-to-be epic play took the great playwright six years to complete, and in 1595 the play was first acted out on stage. The play was written especially for the Queen Elizabeth 1st, who was the reigning monarch at the time. The reason for writing the play had been simple; romantic dramas were of growing popularity in that day and age. Shakespeare's previous works 'Anthony and Cleopatra', had too been a very successful romantic tragedy and had gone down very well with the many countrymen who saw it acted out. 'The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet' is set in Verona, a city in Italy. Verona was a very fashionable city, and was also at the time considered to be the religious capital of the world. The play is based around a young man named Romeo and an even younger girl, named Juliet. Romeo belongs to the family of Montagues. They are a large, well established and wealthy family. They are also proud. Juliet is of the Capulet family. This family is very similar to the Montagues in stature. However the two families are and have been feuding with one-another. The audience never learned the cause of the two family's feud. Nevertheless it is a bitter one that plays a very large part in the happenings of the play. Romeo's character is a strong one. He is also quite different it seems from the rest of his family. He is a romantic, and this is shown when we first are introduced to him in act 1 scene 1. Here, he is found after spending time alone, reflecting; "Ay me, sad hours seem long". He gives a long passage about love and hate, referring I think to the fight between the Montagues and the Capulets that had just taken place. ...read more.


This soon turns to delight of seeing her love again, and hearing he loves her. Juliet explains to Romeo why she does not seem coy with him "In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond," here she tells him she is foolish and goes on to say that he may find her light in behaviour. But she asks him to trust her, and she'll be more true a lover to him "Than those that have more coying to be strange." She basically promises him that she will be more loyal and true than those who may have the cunning to act coy and distant. Most girls were coy in this period of time, the word meaning sexually shy, as they were innocent and were expected to be that way. Juliet suggests to Romeo that "If that thy bent of love be honourable,/ Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,". If he loves her, prove it to her by sending her word tomorrow that he wishes to wed her. She goes on to say she will then meet him and be married to him on that day. This shows us how strongly she feels about him. It shows us her strength of character, how she is so determined to be with her love, that she will marry her family's enemy without her parent's consent. It is a complete change for her and signifies that desperation will eventually lead to tragedy, because I think, from this point, it becomes obvious to the audience that this simply cannot go on without any problems. She is prepared to take an unforgivable risk for him. At the beginning of act 2 scene 5, Juliet is impatient. She is waiting on the return of the nurse with news from Romeo. "The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;/ In half an hour she promised to return." The nurse is evidently late "It's three long hours, yet she is not come." ...read more.


The law in that time was that a girl had no choice over who she may marry, unless with her parent's consent. If she disobeyed her father she would be disowned from the Capulet family. However she is already married to Romeo, so she cannot marry again. If she tells her parents this she could be disowned, or even killed maybe. She has offended both her parents. Lady Capulet refuses to help Juliet "Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word./ Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee." She too, is probably very angry and upset with Juliet. The only person Juliet feels she has left to turn to is the nurse, who gives her advice; "Oh Nurse, how shall this be prevented?" At the end of the scene Juliet finally decides to go to church to make a confession and "to be absolved"". She says to the nurse "Go in, and tell my Lady I am gone." She seeks Friar Laurence's aid. She knows that because of her religion, she has morals against wedding two people. As well as this she will be banished from the Capulet household. These implications have made her feel completely at an end of it all. She has decided that the Friar is the only person (being religious) who can possibly help her. As a character Juliet has changed dramatically. She has gone from being a quiet, obedient minor character in the play with no real feelings or ideas of the real world and life, to a strong minded and brave major character. She has disobeyed her parents, got married without their consent to her family's enemy, lied to her parents, and has lost her love through exile. She now feels very alone. Yet she is determined to make it through and end up with the one thing that she lives for... Romeo. She is an inspiring character and her stolid determination is admirable. She would never have discovered her true self is she hadn't of met Romeo. He is the cause of her pleasure and her pain. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Does Romeo change throughout the play Romeo and Juliet? If so, how and why ...

    We can see Romeo's off-handed and passionate personality when he proposes to Juliet. "By love, that first did prompt me to inquire. He lent me counsel and I lent him eyes". This aspect of Romeo's behaviour leads to the death of Tybalt later on in the play and the tragedy that led to the death of Romeo and Juliet.

  2. Classical Music Interpretations of Romeo and Juliet: Tchaikovsky, Gounod and Prokofiev

    It then subsides into a short question and answer theme by means of the low brass and middle woodwind, which depicts Capulet welcoming his guests. The cornet then plays a solo accompanied by strings and in this you can almost hear the speech that Capulet gives after he has welcomed everybody and ordered the musicians to play: Welcome, gentlemen.


    the nurse will provide and support her like she has done in the past. However, the nurse, who was once loyal to Juliet, now suggests Juliet marry Paris. "Then, since the case so stands as now it doth, I think it is best you married with the county.

  2. 'Romeo and Juliet' was written in 1595 during a period when Shakeseare had found ...

    He is also very passionate, emotional and a big believer in destiny, which often goes to the extreme. To show he is emotional and a believer in fate, he should wear a collection of crosses around his neck. Also, as names are important in this scene, for example, 'which name

  1. How does the character of Juliet change and develop throughout the play?

    and I'll be new baptised" this shows how deeply in love he is with her, yet is not allowed to see her. This is another stage in Juliet's development, as she realises they are not allowed to be together, so begins to find ways round this.

  2. How does Shakespeare convey and develop the theme of Conflict in Romeo and Juliet

    This prologue seems like a gamble however Shakespeare knew that giving the story away so early on will further the theme of conflict and even bring it upon the audiences mind, on whether everything will go according to plan or not.

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

    When the lovers Romeo and Juliet meet they exchange words and kiss, up until now the audience have thought of Juliet as a young simple girl who always obeyed her parents but is now being carried away by a wave of emotions she is feeling for someone she has only met for a couple of minutes.

  2. How does Juliet's character develop during the play?

    "Sweet sorrow" is an oxymoron because it contains two incongruous words brought together to make a striking expression. Oxymoron comes from two Greek words meaning "sharp" and "dull". Much of this play is a clash of opposites so oxymorons are particularly appropriate.

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