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How should a modern day audience respond to Capulet and his treatment of Juliet? How might an understanding of cultural and historical context affect the audience's responce to him?

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Introduction

How should a modern day audience respond to Capulet and his treatment of Juliet? How might an understanding of cultural and historical context affect the audience's responce to him? In the sixteenth century a father's position in the family was very different to today, a father's position in the family would be as if he was the master and not a person that a child would be able to talk to. Children would be expected to honour and obay their parents and be spoken to and not answer back to their parents or any elder person. In marriage man and his wife would be put together for good family alliances or one of the families might gain property or wealth. In the sixteenth century this would be normal but in todays life children are almost equal to their parents and love is shared between the family and this is almost always the reason for marriage. We can see that Lord Capulet wants to be treated with respect and have a higher authority than the other family members. A good example would be in Act 3 Scene 5 "Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!" ...read more.

Middle

Capulet dislikes Mountague we can see this from "My sword, I say! Here comes old Mountague." The brawl get stopped before any damage is done but both men leave in anger. Unlike when Capulet finds out that Romeo is in his party Capulet wants to show off how good his family is and does not react in such a tempered manner. "Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone:" Capulet's only reason for treating a member of the other family like this is so that he can prove his greatness. Capulet needs to show the Montagues their families greatness as the two families are almost competing against each other. An audiences response to Capulets actions in this part of the play would be changing as at first the audience might think that Capulet is trying to be nice letting a Montague in to his party, but we then find out that he is only trying to prove that he is better than their family. Both of the responces involve Mountague's but when Capulet finds out Paris wants his daughters hand in marriage Capulet reacts in a diffrent manner "Let two more summers wither in their pride." ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows Capulet as a evil man who has no self controll until something is to happen to someone he loves. A modern day audience's response to Capulet is shaped by the historical knowlage of the individual person, for instance if a person did not know about the sixteenth century this would seem like Capulet is being unfair to the people around him, furthermore a person with great knowledge about the sixteenth century or an Elizibethan would see Capulet's actions and mannerisims as ordinary to his family, this would have been how all upper class families worked in the sixteenth century. My personal views on how Capulet treats Juliet are that he is very unfair towards her, I feel that Juliet should have had a choice in who she married, whether it was for love and how old she was when she planned on doing so. I think I feel this way because this is how people are treated today. I also feel that if I was an Elizibethan watching this play I would not feel this way, as in their times this was seen as normal. ...read more.

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