• Level: GCSE
  • Subject: English
  • Document length: 1432 words

In Shakespeare's time, relationship values were far different to what they are today.

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Introduction

In Shakespeare's time, relationship values were far different to what they are today. Whether the relationships are linked in blood or just physical lust, certain actions or points of view were, and still are, held dear - whereas others would be completely inexcusable. Today's society, however, which is more strongly based on freedom, has no such problem, as people are free to do as they please(legitimately). Shakespeare wrote a play that revolved around the values which were as interlocked with society as they are today. In the play Romeo and Juliet, several relationships are subject to change, mainly due to the 'breach of values' boundaries; but none so much as Juliet's relationship with her father - Capulet. The severity of the change may be due to multitudinous reasons: - clash of character, i.e. Capulet's domineering nature and Juliet's spontaneous streak, the fact that a (supposedly ancient) hatred and repulsion of the Montague family has been broken, or even because the whole scenario stands against Capulet's non-permissive attitude. All are possibilities, but there must be a more exacted reason. Act 1 Scene 2 is the first time the father-daughter relationship is referred to in the text. This is the scene where Paris asks for Capulet's permission to marry Juliet. His attitude towards his daughter in this scene is protective and he seems to want the best for Juliet.

Middle

which will be raised and cared for as best as possible, and then sold off to the highest bidder (the best suitor). Her willingness to comply with regulation is obvious when Juliet says "I'll look to like, if looking liking move...gives strength to make it fly". Here, she is demonstrating only the highest standard of obedience, but this has yet to change - at the point of her engagement to Romeo, she seems to make the conscious decision to discontinue obeying her parents every command, and that 'following your heart' is a far more fulfilling path to devote one's energy to. Soon, Tybalt is killed by Romeo, and in Act 3 Scene 4 we can immediately see the way in which this event has affected Capulet. His view of the situation between Juliet and Paris has gone from "Let two summers wither in their pride", letting Juliet mature before taking on marriage at a sensible time, to "A' Thursday let it be". Here it is tangible to assume that Capulet has decided to take the situation in hand and without too much thought, set a date for Juliet's marriage to Paris. This, of course, is a direct contradiction to his behaviour in Act 1 Scene 2 where he took even Juliet's very elation into consideration, at variance to now, where he seems not to even spare a passing thought.

Conclusion

were held so dear should indeed be followed, but not to the extent of putting either parent or child in a situation where they are force to comply, because it will always end in someone paying the price of disobedience, which can be devastating. In the end we sympathise with Juliet because she has committed such a brave and desperate act in order to be with Romeo, and has had to deal with such mental abuse from her own father. An audience of Shakespeare's time, however, would be more inclined to see them in equal sympathies, because Capulet's actions would then have been a far more common practice, and so a refusal of his hard work would create as much sympathy for him as for Juliet's misfortune. Audiences today sympathise with Juliet because of the perceived lack of freedom she had by today's standards. The blame for this apparent change in the values of parent-child relations over the years (from Shakespeare's era to recent years) is not easily placed. But if it were my decision, I would blame the changes in human rights laws, the allowance of women to vote, recent acts of global equality etc. (not implying any of these are bad); because if these changes in society had not occurred, we would feel the same way those of Shakespeare's time felt about the play. ?? ?? ?? ?? Shakespeare - Capulet & Juliet

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