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Romeo and Juliet - How does Shakespeare present the character of Lady Capulet?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present the character of Lady Capulet? Lady Capulet is the Wife of Capulet and the mother of Juliet. She is a very strong minded woman of which in the time Shakespeare wrote this strong minded women were frowned upon. She takes pride in having intelligence. The heartache of loosing several babies has turned her into a cold hearted woman who hides her feelings. Through the bitchy exterior Lady Capulet shows she is actually quite a sensitive woman. Lady Capulet uses sarcastic, ironic hyperbole to hide her feelings. Lady Capulet is perceived as an assertive, aggressive woman that is seen as unladylike. In the play Lady Capulets authority is challenged and she looses two family members. She has to come to the terms of their deaths and that she will die one day. Many themes are explored through Lady Capulet. They are the roles of women in society, sensitivity, her lack of compassion, her authority, feminism and foreshadowing, of which I will analyse during this essay. The role of the women in society shows how women were perceived in this era. Lady Capulet displays her role in the society when she is locked in conversation with Juliet. Lady Capulet drops in the subject of marriage into her and Juliet's conversation. "Well think of marriage now, younger than you." Shakespeare uses a reference that hints at Lady Capulet being married young, to try and persuade Juliet to marry at her current age. ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare uses this ambiguous moment to show the level of distance between mother and daughter. It is shown that Lady Capulet has no authority over Juliet as Lady Capulet asks the nurse to stay. Lady Capulet could have realised that her and her daughter have no relationship; therefore the nurse would need to be present when they talk. Another meaning is that Lady Capulet has offended the nurse by asking her to leave, as the nurse 'mothered' Juliet from birth she has the right to be offended. Lady Capulet will then have asked the nurse back as to not offend her. During the conversion the nurse reveals a personal moment that happened to Juliet. The nurse finds this moment extremely funny and responds by laughing and repeating the moment again. Lady Capulet tries to silence the nurse by saying, "Enough of this I pray thee hold thy peace." Shakespeare has Lady Capulet to speak in a tone of jealousy and authority. This would hint at Lady Capulet being Jealous of Juliet and the Nurses relationship, as it should be how a mother and daughter should behave. Lady Capulets authority is challenged, as the nurse who is a servant does not do as she is told first time. Lady Capulet could just be simply upset at the fact she has to raise her voice at a servant, when she should have a higher position of authority than the nurse. ...read more.

Conclusion

Foreshadowing is a key theme in the play and is expressed through Lady Capulet. Another key theme in the play is Lady Capulet also expresses the role of women in society throughout the play. Lady Capulets sensitivity and lack of compassion are major attributes in Lady Capulets personality. Lady Capulet shows that she can be compassionate and sensitive, but she can also lack both of them. Lady Capulets authority is sometimes challenged which is suggests that Lady Capulet has little or no authority in certain situations. Lady Capulets feministic views and her foreshadowing of events are also major characteristics in her personality. Personally, I think Lady Capulet is the most interesting character in the play. She is a strong-minded female, who sets a good example to women who are different, to that perceived by the males in their society. There are disadvantages to Lady Capulets personality as she has no relationship with her daughter and she shows no empathy to the people around her. However, I am sure Lady Capulet regrets not bonding with her daughter when she dies. In the end of the play in is suggested that Lady Capulet is heartbroken over her daughters death. She has now become a nervous, lonely wreck who thinks she will die. Now Juliet is dead she has nothing to show for her life; all she has to show is death as her family are dying around her. She is now trapped and overwhelmed with fear of death. If the play continued after the last act I would presume that Lady Capulet would commit suicide just like Lady Macbeth did in Macbeth. Samantha-Jayne Murray ...read more.

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