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Romeo & Juliet

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Introduction

Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Juliet. In the Elizabethan era, men had more power, opportunities and influence on society than women did. Women did not have equal rights and were seen as possessions not people, unlike today in which women are equal citizens in society. As can be seen in Romeo and Juliet in Shakespeare's time women were forced to marry a man of their father's choice. The successful suitor would be the one who the father thought would benefit the family the most. At the young age of 14 most women would be married to a man of their father's choice and would obey their parents "It was unheard of to disobey your parent's wishes". When we first meet Juliet in this play she is a typical Elizabethan woman. She is obedient and polite to her parents and accepts she will be having an arranged marriage. Her mother asks Juliet how she feels about her arranged marriage "How stands your disposition to be married". Juliet says to her Mother that she has never thought about marriage but she will accept this marriage if it should please her mother. This shows that Juliet trusts her parents and will do anything to please them. Juliet is told to go along to the party by her mother to see if she could fall in love with Paris. ...read more.

Middle

Juliet language is so practical she tells Romeo she thinks their love is growing too quick "to inadvisable too sudden, to like the lightning". But after all her questioning and practical language she looks ahead and says to Romeo from her heart lets get married " send me word tomorrow" this was unusual for an Elizabethan women to do. The audience sees Juliet's practical and truthful side throughout this scene and how her childish character is disappearing. In this scene Juliet trust the nurse to take a message to Romeo to tell him where to meet her tonight after they are married. Juliet trust the nurse because she has had a special bond with her for 14 year after the nurses daughter died who was born on the same day, Which enabled the nurse to breast feed Juliet acting as a motherly figure in her life. Juliet goes off to marry Romeo in Friar Laurence cell. Juliet is deceitful to her parents by using religion as an excuse by saying she is going to church for confession when she is really going to marry Romeo behind her parent's backs. This lie would be the most deceitful horrible excuse you could use because religion was a big thing in everyday life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Throughout this scene the audience sees Juliet as a cunning and selfish character who doesn't think of anyone else's feelings apart from hers. The next we see of Juliet is when she awakes in the tomb she immediately says, "Where is my Romeo" as she is confident that her plan has worked. She sees that Romeo is dead and refuses to leave, and then her final adult deserts her friar Laurence "go get thee hence, for I will not wait". Juliet becomes desperate to die she kisses the lips of Romeo hoping to find a drop of poison but it is unsuccessful, " I will kiss the lips haply for some poison" - "thy lip are warm". Her strong character forces her to stab herself "O happy dagger this is thy sheath". Juliet is childish unlike a mature adult who would do not such of a thing for love. At the start of Romeo and Juliet we see Juliet as a typical 14 year Elizabethan women who agrees with her arranged marriage with Paris. But as the play progress she matures when she gets married and has to deal with terrible event that happen in a short space of time. In the last scene we see that she was a child all along as she takes her life, which a responsible adult would not do. Juliet changes from a typical Elizabethan to a typical modern day woman. Harry Johnson 1 1 ...read more.

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