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Romeo and Juliet/The Tempest

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present father/daughter relationships in Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest? Of all family relationships, the father/daughter relationship is one of the most prominently featured relationships in literature or movies. This is because the father/daughter relationship has much dramatic potential and so, it makes a great story. This is probably why Shakespeare chose to explore different aspects of this relationship in his plays, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest. In Romeo and Juliet, the relationship between Juliet and Lord Capulet is presented as somewhat distant and shows a weakness in the bond between the two. In Act 1 Scene 2, Lord Capulet often suggests that Juliet is not a mature teenager and perhaps underestimates her. He also suggests that she has not seen the real world. This becomes apparent when he says, 'My child is yet a stranger in the world, she hath not seen the change of fourteen years.' Furthermore, 'stranger to the world' implies the fact that she might be a stranger to him. It also displays a lack of trust in Juliet and possibly some hidden doubt about her loyalty to him as her father. However, it could also mean that Capulet cares for his young Juliet and wants to protect her innocence by not wanting her to marry at such a young age. Similarly, Prospero's relationship with Miranda possibly has two interpretations to it, like Lord Capulet's and Juliet's relationship. ...read more.

Middle

Men were considered the bread-winners of the family and women inferior to them. It was thought unconventional for women to make important decisions for themselves, they were incapable and therefore men where to make their decisions for them, not just regarding their marriage. Women could refuse to marry but would be disowned by their families; it was a silent threat that was hidden underneath every happy Elizabethan family. Lord Capulet chose a 'suitor' for Juliet but did not confirm the wedding before telling Paris to 'woo her.' This makes it seem like Capulet does give her a 'scope of choice' and is a caring and loving father who will agree with his daughter if she refuses the proposal. Ironically, in the face of her refusal to marry Paris, Capulet's rage at Juliet asserts itself violently. When it comes to the subject of Miranda's marriage, all goes well between Prospero, Miranda and Ferdinand. The audience finds out at this point that Prospero really will not just give away his daughter to any 'noble, rich and gallant' man because of his status but to anyone who will prove themselves to be worthy of winning Miranda's heart. In fact, he tests Ferdinand, by making him carry logs in Act 3 Scene 1 and speaks violently to him. This shows the audience that Prospero possibly cares more about his daughter's feelings than Lord Capulet as he doesn't only want Miranda to get married to him because he is a prince. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout the play it is clear of Juliet and Capulet's conventional relationship, but Act 3 scene 5 enforces this as even through one act of rebellious behaviour Juliet is not able to undermine her father and retreats back into passiveness. In conclusion, Shakespeare is trying to portray the conventional relationship of the father and daughter in the Elizabethan age. As a member of the audience, one would think that Prospero and Miranda's relationship is stronger than Lord Capulet's and Juliet's as they show their love more. However, this is because there is no one else to share their love with; Miranda has not been exposed to the world and has not seen any humans except for her father. So, we could then say that if Miranda and her father were living back in Italy, they would not share the same bond as they do on the island. This is proven when, as soon as Ferdinand arrives on the island, and Miranda falls in love with him, she turns against her father to support someone who she just met in Act 1 Scene 2. Juliet hardly has anything to do with her parents as she was raised by the Nurse, which on its own says a lot about the father and daughter's relationship. In fact, we cannot really compare their relationship and draw conclusions from it stating who Shakespeare is saying has a closer relationship because they are in different situations as a result of tragic consequences. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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