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Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is about true love and how it fights against all odds to overcome the problems in their lives. Too many ironic co-incidents, two feuding families and two rebellious lovers; Romeo and Juliet. Juliet is shown as the ideal Renaissance women, the dutiful daughter of Capulet. She is obedient and respectful, however with changing circumstances came a complicated Juliet; objective and opinionated. In the eyes of a Renaissance audience this was an outrage, though a modern audience would be more accepting of Juliet and praise her bravery. I think the development of Juliet from a young girl to a love struck women makes her an admirable character in the play, as she tries to break the rules that women of the Elizabethan era were meant to abide by. Juliet at the beginning of the play is a calm and collected person. Surprisingly Juliet uses a very formal register with her mother, making us think her relationship with Lady Capulet is limited. Juliet seems to have a more loving relationship with the Nurse and sees her as a mother figure. Juliet's use of language in Act 1, Scene 3 is very short and formal, for example when her mother asks : "How stands your dispositions to be married?" Juliet replies "It is an honour I dream not of" Juliet does not show emotion to what her mother is asking her, her reply is straight to the point. Even though Juliet's replies are short, she is very assertive and answers calmly, in spite of the fact that her mother seems impatient and wants Juliet to answer "in brief", as though she has not got time for any long winded replies. Juliet in this scene is shown as a young girl, who does not make decisions for herself. Throughout the scene you realise that Juliet is a very level headed person whist being respectful as well and you can tell this by her use of words, as she does describe marriage as an ...read more.

Middle

He mimics her pleas and calls her "baggage", which is horrible and talks about her as she is merely a load that he has to carry and as she is refusing to marry, that weight will stay on him. He sees her as he sees his property and clothes, something that can be passed down. Capulets true side is nasty and inexcusable. A Renaissance audience would be accepting of this, as they would feel if Juliet has refused marriage from the man her parents have chosen for her, she would bring 'shame' onto them, though in contrast a modern audience would be sympathetic toward Juliet as they can understand the dilemma she is in. The punctuation used tells a lot as well as he says " you tallow-face!", the exclamation mark emphasises his fury to the fullest. Capulets also repeats a lot of his words suggesting maybe his disbelief at what Juliet is saying, the news has totally shocked him, as he has always know the well-mannered Juliet and now, she is the antithesis of her former self. Juliet is fighting a losing battle with her parents and tries to make them see reason, " Good father, I beseech you on my knees". As daughters obeyed their parents during the Elizabethan era, Juliet is in a difficult position. Any father seeing their daughter begging in front of them, would calm down, or at the very least listen however, Capulet has none of it. He is furious, Juliet is kneeling down in front of him in, though his anger does not alter in anyway. Capulet obviously shows no pity, no feelings for his daughter at all and even sees her as "unworthy" of Paris, which is an appalling thing to say. It shows he has no respect for his daughter at all and sees her as a second-class citizen. Capulet before this scene was show as a very considerate father, for example when he is talking to Paris he says: "yet a stranger in this world, she hath not seen a change of fourteen years. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, in reality, Juliet lies to her father and pretends to live up to his expectations in order to escape her fate. I think the most interesting thing about Juliet was how she changed from a young girl into a independent, loyal, and capable woman. I think that her strength and determination was interesting too, as she realised that there were only a few people she could trust, she matured and knew she had to face her fate on her own. She also knew of the dangers of drinking the potion that Friar Lawrence had given Juliet to drink, she was sensible and thought of all the possibilities, but decided that this was her only option and drank the potion bravely. I admire Juliet's character for trying to break the mould of the way women were expected to behave, and break the expectations given to them. I admired that fact that she fought against her family because she knew she was right, and her love for Romeo was pure and true, which you get the feel of because of the way Shakespeare portrayed their first meeting by using words such as 'holy', 'shrine' and 'sin'; this makes you feel their love is right and holy. Also Juliet's decision to go to the tomb and kill herself shows the intensity of their love. The presentation of Juliet to our understanding and enjoyment of the play is vital because the play itself is about Romeo and Juliet and how they were before they fell in love and after, the journey they take to be together. If Juliet did not change throughout the play we would see the same boring person, so when you see changing sides of Juliet it makes the play better to watch, so your enjoyment increases. The play also shows the effects of love on a person, and how they are willing to kill themselves to overcome the difficulties that people had given them, and be together in death. Pavandeep Gill ...read more.

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