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How does Shakespeare show the changing relationship between Juliet and her parents in Act 3 Scene 5?

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How does Shakespeare show the changing relationship between Juliet and her parents in Act 3 Scene 5? At the beginning of Act 3 Scene 5, we know very little regarding the relationship between Juliet and her parents because there is very little contact between the two parties so far in the play. It seems that Shakespeare wants to emphasise this lack of contact, he wants the audience to understand that Juliet is quite distant from her parents. In the play leading up to this scene, Juliet has only had a brief conversation with her mother and hasn't even talked to her father. These family conversations seem to be a rarity in the play. In Act 3 Scene 1, when Juliet talks to her mother, the relationship comes across as a formal one, not necessarily a loving one: Madam I am here. What is your will? Automatically, it can be observed that the manner of speaking is how a servant may greet his master. It certainly shows obedience and respect, but in a true parental relationship, love always forms the foundations. However, at the time this sort of behaviour would be no surprise, the relationships were indeed very restricted. ...read more.


This comment gives yet another dose of dramatic irony to the audience. The audience perceive that Juliet would rather marry Romeo (she already has), instead of Paris because she loves Romeo. However, Lady Capulet thinks that Juliet hates Romeo so, to her Juliet's comments represent an insult when she declines to agree to marry Paris. This makes the relationship falter even further, and the conversation reaches its lowest point when Lady Capulet insults Juliet with a scathing metaphor: I would the fool were married to her grave. In other words, Lady Capulet is wishing for the death of her child; this certainly is the worst thing any parent could wish for their child. The relationship is now at its lowest point, Shakespeare has set the foundations on which Lady Capulet later officially rejects Juliet. However, another point to keep in mind is the relationship between the actors and the audience in this scene. The audience would have certainly been behind Juliet throughout the scene because she is the one upset through losing Romeo. The audience would have supported Lady Capulet at the start when she comes across as a loving mother but the support would have deteriorated as Lady Capulet became more selfish and rude towards Juliet. ...read more.


The three people that Juliet trusted and relied on for parental help the most, have either rejected her (Lord and Lady Capulet) or have been rejected by her (Nurse). She is also sad because of the death of Tybalt and the exile of her husband Romeo. At this point Shakespeare could be coming across to the audience with two messages. First being, Do those who go against their parent's wishes become worse off than if they had complied? The second one being more philosophical, Is it right for parents to arrange their children's marriages? From the way the play has been written the answer seems to be no. The play illuminates that arranged marriages, such as Juliet and Paris bring a lot of pain and misery. Thus, throughout the scene Juliet's relationship with her parents has changed dramatically. At the start, there was a sign of a loving relationship, which would be further united after Tybalt's death. However, at the end of the scene it is very clear that bitterness and hate have replaced love. The audience would have also felt this because Shakespeare makes them heavily attached to the Juliet's emotions. Thus, Shakespeare's language shows how the various relationships change and how a happy family deteriorates into a family in turmoil. WORD COUNT- 2, 090 ?? ?? ?? ?? ABHINAV SINGH 11 'G' BOSTON GRAMMAR SCHOOL CENTRE NO- 26310 ENGLISH COURSEWORK ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

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The writer chooses useful quotations from the play to illustrate the changing relationship between Juliet and her parents, but hangs quite unjustified conclusions on them, though he is quite right that this family spat, followed by the suggestions of her nurse, leaves Juliet feeling alone and vulnerable, thus setting her up for the eventual tragic ending. This conclusion is not included, however, in the summing-up in the final paragraph.

Grammatical structures are mostly well-controlled, as is paragraph structure and layout.

3 stars

Marked by teacher Jeff Taylor 20/05/2013

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