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Romeo & Juliet

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Introduction

Examine the ways in which Shakespeare reveals the attitude of the era towards love and marriage, aristocratic families and parental influence in "Romeo & Juliet." Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous plays written in the early career of William Shakespeare. It's the story of two teenage 'star cross'd lovers' who's love for each other results in the tragic death of both of them. Both the Montague and Capulet families were aristocratic and both had a lot of power in the city of Verona. Due the high status of both families, Romeo and Juliet were to behave in a well-mannered way as this is what would have been expected of them. Also, this meant that the marriages of the children of the Montague and Capulet families would be arranged. This is to ensure that their child married someone of power and wealth and also someone that would prove to be an advantage to the whole family by creating an alliance. Although Juliet's marriage had been arranged for her, she did not want to marry Paris because she was in love with Romeo. This can be shown when she says "my love is deep the more I give to thee". This shows how deeply she cares for and loves Romeo. Throughout the play, Juliet is seen to be the more mature of the two and is more cautious about the two of them being caught together due to her knowledge of the consequences. ...read more.

Middle

Line 61 in Act II Scene II, also shows that he no longer wants to support his family in the feud against Capulet because he does not want to be the enemy of Juliet. "Neither, fair maid, if either thee dislike." He reveals that he no longer wants the name Romeo Montague because Juliet dislikes that them names make it seem as though they are enemies. The staging of this scene reflects the way their relationship is conducted because the balcony acts as a barrier between them; stopping them from being together. This is similar to how the feud between the two families is also acting as a barrier and stopping them from being together! Although the parents of both Romeo and Juliet do not consent to the two being together; Friar Lawrence plays an important role in helping them be together. In Friar Lawrence's opening soliloquy, in Act II Scene III, he tends to his plants. He speaks about the actions of plants. "Full soon the canker death eats up that plant." These images used impart dramatic irony in terms of Romeo and Juliet's tragedy because we can relate the actions of the plants to those of Romeo and Juliet. This is ironic because the reader's know how the story ends yet the Friar is unaware of what is yet to happen. The love that they feel for each other is so deep that they feel they cannot live without one another; later in the play when they each believe their partner is dead, they are eaten up by their feelings and forced to end their own lives. ...read more.

Conclusion

In act IV scene V, the relationship between Juliet and her parents changes a lot between these two scenes. In act III, Juliet does not appear to be close to her parents however, in act IV; Lady Capulet mourns the death of her child which implies that they were close. "My child, my only life", this is the only time we hear the intensity of Lady Capulet's feelings for her daughter. Shakespeare presents a lot of ideas about love, marriage and aristocratic families in Romeo and Juliet. He tries to make it seem as though it is too young for a girl to marry at the age of 14 years old and also that teenagers can be blinded by the idea of being in love and think they are actually in love, this is shown with Romeo's love for Rosaline. Also, he gives the audience a clear insight into the relationships between parents and children in aristocratic families. The audience reacts in a way that shows they do not agree with the behaviour of the aristocratic parents and their laws of marriage. Today, there is a much less likely chance of such a tragedy happening over the same circumstances due to children and parents having a much more open relationship with their parents and also having a lot more freedom to make their own choices in life. However, there are still many arranged marriages within certain religions to this day such as Muslims, Sikhs and Hindus. ?? ?? ?? ?? Adriana Romano ...read more.

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