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Romeo and Juliet : Development of Juliet's Character

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Introduction

DISCUSS THE DEVELOPMENT OF JULIET'S CHARACTER This essay is about Juliet's character and I am going to talk about how her behaviour develops towards Romeo, her Nurse, and on her own respectively. In the prologue we are informed that, 'a pair of star crossed lovers take their life,' [line 6, prologue]. This is to make us feel sympathy towards Romeo and Juliet. We also have to remember Juliet is only 13 at the start of the play and little more than a child; but she has potential to mature during the course of the play. Act 1 Scene 5 is the first encounter between the lovers. In this scene I think Juliet is clever just doing enough to keep Romeo interested, 'Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,' [line 99 act 1 scene 5]. She is obviously infatuated with Romeo and behaves coquettishly towards him, 'for saints have hands that pilgrims' hand do touch,' [line 101 act 1 scene 5]. Romeo and Juliet use religious imagery towards one another because in an Elizabethan times religion was their most important thing, 'This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,' [line 96 act 1 scene 5]. In this scene the religious imagery is used to woo each other and is formed into a sonnet emphasising their love. Act 2 Scene 2 is the famous balcony scene of the lovers. ...read more.

Middle

Act 2 Scene 5 is Juliet's main scene with the Nurse. In this scene Juliet is again immature like in act 2 scene 2, and also petulant. You can see this when she is waiting for Romeo's reply about marriage. 'In half an hour she promised to return,' [line 2 act 2 scene 5],' O she is lame,' [line 4 act 2 scene 5]. It also shows impatience and irritability. When the Nurse does finally arrive she is very impatient in contrast with her being patient with the Nurse in act scene 3. Juliet's is unthoughtful about the Nurse's condition. The Nurse says, 'I am aweary, give me leave awhile,' [line 25 act 2 scene 5], but Juliet replies, 'Nay come, I pray thee speak,' [line 28 act 2 scene 5], showing no care for the Nurse to whom she is supposed to be close. When the Nurse eventually does tell Juliet the news, Juliet now says something complimentary to her, 'Honest Nurse, farewell,' but because this is said after the good news is given, I feel this shows Juliet to be spoiled and she is only pleasent when she gets her own way. In act 3 scene 2 Juliet shows her continuing obsession with Romeo, 'Come night, come Romeo, come day in night,' [line 17 act 3 scene 2] and this reinforces Juliet's immaturity in wanting something she can't have. ...read more.

Conclusion

Act 5 scene 3 is the final scene and like in the last scene Juliet is again bold in her decision. She has just awoken to the site of Romeo's dead body and the Friar has left her. She now has a choice either to go away where the Friar sends her or to die with Romeo. She decides to kill herself,' O happy dagger. This is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die,' [lines 175 & 176 act 5 scene 3]. I feel this was a necessary decision due to her other option, which would not lead to a promising future with no money or skills. Also in Elizabethan times once you are dead you go to heaven although suicide was against God. Even so Juliet loved Romeo enough to go against God. In conclusion I feel Juliet is immature at the start, but develops as the play goes on. Throughout she uses her brain to get out of tough situations, like in act 1 scene 3 when asked about marriage. Then towards the end she becomes more independent and shows maturity and inner strength. I believe this play is about the effect of hate in society. It shows how futile it is and the consequences of it on people's lives like Romeo and Juliet. This play is a tragedy like others of Shakespeare's, such as 'Macbeth' and 'Richard the III.' Like in this play, good conquers evil. The families in this play make friends at the end and both the evil Macbeth and Richard III dying in theirs. ASHLEY KELHAM 10T 01/12/2001 ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

This essay addresses some interesting points about Juliet but as a whole response is lacking clear direction. Before beginning to write an analytical essay it is important to create a very specific plan that you will use to focus your ideas.

3 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 26/06/2013

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