• 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. 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.


    "'Proud', and 'I thank you' and 'I thank you not'". This quote shows how Capulet feels that Juliet should be thanking him rather than opposing his decision. A modern day audience could describe the behaviour and attitude of Capulet as an ultimate iniquity.

  2. How Far Does Juliet's Character Change And Develop In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet?

    This gives us opinions about her personality because we know that she dies. It would give the reader the feeling of sympathy towards her character and we would imagine her to be an innocent girl who has just been in an unfortunate situation.

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

    of conflict that we witness in the play and the prologue prepares us for this. Shakespeare makes a bold decision in giving away the end of the play in the prologue however I believe that this comes to fruition. As the play builds up in a crescendo of conflict and

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

    Tybalt, who is Lady Capulet's nephew and Juliet's cousin, has a fiery temper and has been brought up to hate Montagues, or in my case, Americans. He loves violence and is very good at fighting. Even right at the beginning we get the impression he is aggressive.

  1. Consider the character of Juliet. How does she change and develop from the beginning ...

    This is the first appearance of double meanings in the play, as Lady Capulet is actually talking about 'bed' covers rather than book covers, and she is possibly trying to entice Juliet into thinking of the sexual pleasures that will come with marriage.

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

    she was to get married, Juliet replies; "It is an honour I dream not of." (Act 1 Scene 3 - p.g, 19 line(s) 67) this is ambiguous. It could mean she doesn't want to get married to the audience. Lady Capulet is also shown to the audience as being uninterested

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