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Romeo & Juliet

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Romeo & Juliet Coursework Essay 'Romeo & Juliet' is perhaps Shakespeare's most famous play. Written in the period of time between 1589 and 1595, Romeo & Juliet tells the tragic love story of two young adults torn apart by name, yet drawn together by the power of love, to an untimely ending. This essay will be focusing on Act 3, scene 5, in which Romeo leaves Juliet after their wedding night, for her to be scolded and insulted by her father, left alone by her mother and turned against by her nurse, leaving Juliet in perhaps her lowest state in the play. At this point in the play, Juliet, a member of the Capulet family, has met, fallen in love with and married Romeo Montague, the son of her father's arch rival, Montague. All this has happened behind the back's of both families, and has left them under a lot pressure, but in an amazing bond of love. But, unfortunately, Romeo has been found guilty of killing Tybalt, Juliet's cousin, and has been banished from their home town of Verona. Also, Juliet's father, Capulet, is pressurising her into a marriage that she cannot have, due to her marriage to Romeo, let alone wants, leading to the argument of Act 3, Scene 5. The scene is quite important to the play, with Capulet's anger leading him to give Juliet an ultimatum - marry Paris, her suitor, or be forever disowned from the Capulet family. ...read more.


Capulet should be able to make his daughter do anything at the drop of a hat, and his sudden powerlessness over her is unexpected and extremely unwelcome. At a time when arranged marriages were a lot more common than marriages of love, Juliet's actions would have been at the height of disobedience, risking possibly all the status the family have worked for, a risk that neither Capulet nor his wife are willing to take. The time it was written also greatly effects the way the audience would see the characters. When Shakespeare first wrote the play, and audiences first saw it, Juliet would have been frowned upon for disobeying her father, and although the audience would have sympathised with her for her situation, they probably would have been thinking along the lines of that she got herself into the mess she was in, and that it was her own fault. Capulet would also have been seen slightly differently, with the audience sympathising greatly with him and completely understanding, if not agreeing with his actions. In modern days, the way the characters are seen in largely the other way round. In an era where young ladies are greatly free to do as they please, and generally the only thing parents have the power to do is advise, Juliet would be seen as a poor defenceless young woman who is only trying to follow her heart. ...read more.


For the audience, the scene shows us how badly things can work out, but let's them gain a lot of information about the characters involved, and allows them to make views that will affect the way they see the rest of the play. Such views include the sympathy they will feel for Juliet, and the way they will empathise with her, wishing her well in her struggles at the end of the play, in her quest to be lovingly reunited with Romeo Montague. The scene also reveals a lot about Shakespeare and what he thought about parent/child relationships and marriage. Marriage is thought to be something that is basically up to you and something that your parents have little or no control over, but the play reveals how easy we have it today, when compared to the struggles of marriage that were around in Shakespeare's day. The scene also shows that Shakespeare must have thought of marriage differently to others in his day, as he allowed Romeo and Juliet to end up together, although only in death. I think the play in general is fantastic, but especially Act 3, Scene 5, which divulges a lot about the struggles and hardship of life then compared to the 'struggles' we experience today. It shows us also how we should consider our families, whilst still showing a strong theme of life: if something is meant to be, it will be, no matter what the difficulties or consequences. Lacey Cousins 10E ...read more.

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