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Romeo & Juliet

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Introduction

With specific reference to Act 1, Scene 2 and Act 3, Scene 5, discuss the presentation of the relationship between Lord Capulet and Juliet and explore the way an audience might respond. Throughout the "Romeo and Juliet" play, the relationship between Lord Capulet and Juliet appears to change dramatically. First Lord Capulet presents an angry figure of short-tempered authority when Juliet refuses to obey him, but at other times speaks to her lovingly. In act 1, scene 2, they show a close relationship with love and respect, whereas, by act 3, scene 5, their relationship changes, becoming one that appears hateful and mistrustful. An audience in Shakespeare's time would take this change as a very natural thing to have happened, and would most likely think that Lord Capulet was right to order his daughter to get married. However, a modern day audience would find this very shocking because in today's society daughters are allowed to make their own decisions. In Shakespeare's time the relationship between a father and daughter was reasonable, caring and very strict. In act 1, scene 2, County Paris wants to marry Juliet, but Capulet says, "She hath not seen the change of fourteen years." Suggesting she is still only a child and hasn't yet reached puberty, this implies that Capulet is caring towards Juliet. Capulet uses imagery about plant decay and ripening, he says, "For a crop to reach maturity, care and nourishment is needed." So Paris should wait for two years, this is reasonable if Juliet has not yet matured into a young woman. Fathers in Elizabethan times would also have been very strict and authoritative, however, Capulet is portrayed differently, like a modern man is. Capulet is open-minded, he says to Paris, "But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart." This means Capulet is giving Paris permission to make her fall in love with him. Capulet just wants the best for Juliet and is thinking ahead. ...read more.

Middle

"How now! A conduit, girl? What, still in tears?" This quote emphasises how distraught Juliet is, he uses water imagery for effect and compares Juliet's tears to a water pipe or fountain. This quote is also a metaphor and is catchy to an audience. Throughout the first part of the scene he continues to describe how upset Juliet is. "When the sun sets, the air doth drizzle dew." Again Capulet is talking about Juliet being upset, this quote stands out because it uses alliteration. Later in this scene Capulet quotes, "Have you deliver'd to her our decree?" "Decree" is like an order or a suggestion, it's Capulet's plan to marry Juliet and Paris on Thursday. This is when Capulet's behaviour changes to an angry and controlling manner and he looses his temper with Juliet, because Lady Capulet replies that Juliet is not thankful for the arranged marriage. When Capulet enters his tone is light and he shows fatherly concern for Juliet's tears, which he assumes are for Tybalt. The image of a storm that he conjures up is ironic for, any minute now, a storm is about to erupt between Capulet and Juliet about the wedding arrangements. Shakespeare uses rhythm to communicate Capulet's anger and confusion, for example, "How now, how now, chop-logic! What is this?" Shakespeare uses exclamation marks mainly in Capulet's speech to emphasise his rage at Juliet. He also uses question marks in Capulet's speech to show his annoyance and who is in control. He could of also used them to show his confusion and that Capulet is trying to find something out. During the scene Capulet's use of pronouns referring to Juliet, have changed from "mine" and "my" to "she" and "her". This highlights how ashamed he is of his daughter and he keeps wondering if she's not proud. He feels like Juliet has disobeyed him. Capulet goes on to compare Juliet to a puppet, "A whining mammet." ...read more.

Conclusion

Capulet's relationship quickly deteriorates from this moment; as he goes on to tell Juliet that she will never look him in the face again if she disobeys him. Capulet says, "Fingers itch." So he wants to strike her and is hinting at the violent anger he is just managing to contain. He tells her she may beg and starve in the streets before he will have her disobey him. Capulet's behaviour was wrong, as he was tyrannical. The modern audience would have more sympathy towards Juliet, because in today's world fathers are very close to their daughters and don't worry too much about who they marry. Also they wouldn't shout at their children like Capulet does, or threaten to disown them. A Shakespearian audience would have the most understanding of Capulet, because they would know where his coming from. This is because back in the Elizabethan times daughters were meant to obey their fathers without arguing, however Juliet stuck up for herself and more importantly for her rights. The relationship between Capulet and Juliet at the beginning of the play was very normal because Capulet was more of a modern man. However, towards the end Capulet was really harsh towards Juliet, who was only thirteen. Juliet didn't deserve to be insulted as many times as she was, because as her father had already said, she was young and vulnerable, and also hadn't yet reached puberty. Although it was wrong of Capulet to persistently react the way he did, some of the blame has to be on Juliet. Capulet had worked very hard to find a good match for her, he offered her a handsome gentleman from a good family and she refused. Therefore Capulet rages at Juliet when she shows reluctance to marry Paris and embodies herself in a conventional and unfeeling world in which the lovers find themselves. Only at the end of the play, when he mourns for his daughter's death, does he seem a sympathetic character once more. ...read more.

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