• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Romeo and Juliet - How far does the character of JUliet conform to the typical role of a woman in Shakespeare's time?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Alex Norwood 10Y1 G.C.S.E ENGLISH COURSEWORK ASSIGNMENT SHAKESPEARE - 'ROMEO AND JULIET' HOW FAR DOES THE CHARACTER OF JULIET CONFORM TO THE TYPICAL ROLE OF A WOMAN IN SHAKESPEARE'S TIME ? 'Romeo and Juliet' deals with the strict gender role of women during the Shakespearean period of history. Conventional females were considered to be second class citizens who were expected to refrain in conveying their natural feelings and emotions. Women were also socially neglected, as they were expected to remain at home whilst their respective husbands ensured the upkeep of the family by managing the family finances. The male population at this point in time ignorantly viewed women as coy, innocent characters, seemingly unaware that women had the same feelings and emotions as themselves. In Elizabethan society, the majority of marriages were arranged. Property and power were two main factors which influenced negotiations for marriage between the two families of the bride and groom. As the bride was unable to provide land, she was expected to take a substantial amount of money to the marriage, which in turn, was given to the father of the groom. In this respect, daughters were considered to be a financial burden on their parents, hence their decision to get their daughter married into a wealthy family as soon as they could. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet trusts her Nurse and relies on her advice and understanding nature. In Act 4 Scene 3, when Juliet begins to worry about whether or not to take the potion, she asks herself, 'Nurse, what should she do here?' The character of Nurse is based on the stock figure of the obscene old woman, a common character in the time of Shakespeare. Ironically, Shakespeare has given Nurse the name of Angelica, meaning 'angel'. Contrastingly, the Nurse's language is full of very 'unangelic', broad humour and sexual references. In Act 1 Scene 4, the Nurse tells Juliet that when she is older and wiser, she would 'fall on her back', i.e she should be looking forward to the pleasures of sexual intercourse. 'Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit, wilt thou not Jule?' Act 1 Scene 3 It is the Nurse, not Lady Capulet who shows the necessary motherly love and affection to Juliet, as shown with the 'pet' names the Nurse has for Juliet, such as 'lamb' and 'ladybird'. She also has the attributes of a modern day parent - embarassing Juliet with tales of her youth. 'But as I said, when it did taste the worm- wood on the nipple of my dug, and felt it bitter, pretty fool, to see it tetchy, and fall out with the dug.' ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Romeo's love matures and he is much more of an unconventional lover. Romeo openly tells of his feelings for Juliet in a meaningful passionate manner. In Act 1 Scene 3, we see the Nurse, Lady Capulet and Juliet, and a unique distinction in the type of language used between the three characters. This is known as iambic pentameter which Shakespeare uses to differentiate between his intelligent and uneducated characters - in this case, Juliet and Lady Capulet, compared with the Nurse. 'Juliet: And-stint-thou-too-I-pray-thee-Nurse-say-I Nurse: Peace I have done: God mark thee to his grace Lady Capulet: Mar-ry-that-mar-ry-is-the-ve-ry-theme.' Act 1 Scene 3 In the infamous 'balcony scene', a great deal of imagery is used. Firstly, imagery of light and seeing is important to the context of the scene. For example, Romeo is intoxicated by his passion for Juliet but she says 'it is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden', like the lightning in a storm. In a way, Juliet is correct because their love will indeed be like a brief wondrous flash of light in the darkness of the feud between their two respective families, and their love is also potentially fatal. Also, the imagery of growth is used in this scene. In Juliet's word, their 'bud of love' may become a 'beauteous flower' when they were next to meet, if the 'summer's ripening breath' is breathed upon it. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. How dose Shakespeare present Lord Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet?" Would you describe him ...

    To him reputation is very important and, as he is head of the family, he needs to keep his head up high and make sure that everything is perfect throughout his household. At the party, Tybalt explains to Lord Capulet that Romeo is at the party and wants to quarrel

  2. Romeo's character analysis

    This is very different from his 'sufferings' over Rosaline in act 1 scene 1. Romeo uses the sun, moon, stars and heaven to describe Juliet's appearance. Here are some of the phrases he uses to say how beautiful Juliet is: ~ "It is the east and Juliet is the sun..."

  1. Romeo and Juliet - Read carefully Act 3 Scene 2 Trace Juliet's feelings ...

    The moment the Nurse insulted Romeo, she stood up in defence, and this shows us how much she is really in love with Romeo to trust him so much. We see here that she is a faithful lover, very loyal, and she sticks to her lover even when he is facing many obstacles and accusations.

  2. Romeo & Juliet Analysis of Act 1 & 2

    Romeo has always compared Rosaline to the moon and now that he is in love with Juliet he believes his love for Juliet has outshone the love that he had for Rosaline. This could have referred to Greek mythology because Romeo later says: "Be not her maid, since she is

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

    Lady Capulet obviously prides herself on her intelligence. She thinks that Juliet is too soft hearted and lacks intelligence as she is grieving. During the conversation between Juliet and Lady Capulet, Lady Capulet thinks that Romeo is a villain. She says, "As that villain which slaughter'd him."

  2. How does Shakespeare show Juliet's character change and develop in Romeo and Juliet?

    I am now going to look at the scenario in act 2 scene 2. In many interpretations of this scene, Juliet is on a balcony and Romeo is below in the shadows, looking up to her. There are two lines spoken at the start of the scene that may portray this idea.

  1. Discuss and analyse the role that love and marriage play in Romeo and Juliet

    it seems absurd that he would be truly in love. Romeo's two friends, Benvolio and Mercutio, both have very different ideas about love. They feel that Romeo is overreacting about being rejected. From Romeo's point of view both Benvolio and Mercutio are more experienced in life and are therefore suitable advisers to Romeo about love.

  2. Romeo and Juliet charts Juliet's journey from subservient daughter to passionate lover

    From our first impression of Juliet we get to see this subservient obeying daughter, "Madam, I am here, what is your will?" This shows that Juliet and her mother don't exactly have a very close relationship but one where Juliet does all her mother asks and is obedient.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work