The Parent and Child Relationships of Act 3 Scene 5 in Romeo and Juliet
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The Parent and Child Relationships of Act 3 Scene 5 in Romeo and Juliet Family life in 1595 was very different to family life today. The father was the head of the household; he made all the decisions and had complete control over everyone in the family especially the women. This included his wife, his daughters, his sisters and his mother. The women were totally obedient to him and obedience and respect was expected. The women of the family could not give their voice or opinion and if they disobeyed the law of the father could be disowned and would have nowhere to go and would have to beg, starve and die on the streets. There was no divorcing if life got unbearable. The understanding of the values people lived by during this time is important in understanding the play. It was assumed that the father had complete control and so the events in the play would not be shocking to the audience in Shakespeare's' time but they would understand the situation. Today women have a much more respected role in family life and contribute equally in all areas. Their role in family life is very different today. Their voice and opinion are assumed to be a part of the family life and such attitudes in the play would not be tolerated.
This also shows a negative Parent/Child because Capulet is forcing Juliet to do something that she does not want to do, which changes her whole life. Juliet's father, Capulet gets very angry with Juliet and curses her. This is shown when Lord Capulet says, "out, you green-sickness carrion! Out you baggage! You tallow-face!" This shows that Lord Capulet is so angry that he is cursing Juliet for not marrying the person that he wants her to marry. In noble families in 1595 this marriage arrangement was expected and would not have surprised the audience. But now people do not have to marry people who their parents choose and they have a choice themselves, except in some countries. Juliet pleads with her father with the words "Good father, I beseech you on my knees, Hear me with patience but to speak a word," but she has no control over her father and his decision. This situation would not occur today as grown children choose their own husbands or wives. Parents can offer advice but do not have the final say in choice of marriage partner. In the play Juliet's father is getting angrier with her. This is shown by the quote "Hang thee, young baggage! Disobedient wretch" This shows a very bad parent/child relationship, because Capulet is telling his daughter to go hang, so he is therefore telling her to go off and die.
In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet's family would seem like a normal family in 1595 because Juliet's acted like most fathers acted back then. He was very controlling, strict and authorative. This shows that families back in 1595 where a lot more strict than families nowadays. Juliet's mother was subordinate to Lord Capulet this means that she did everything he said and totally respected him. Juliet respected her parents but some times disobeyed them. In back then people would of considered Juliet to be a bad, disobedient child, where as now people would of seen that as normal. Also nowadays the mother would have had more of a fair share in authority and would not have to do everything the farther says. The parent-child relationships in this play were terrible. The lack of understanding on both parent and child caused serious problems. Juliet would have been aware that her relationship with Romeo was completely wrong under the circumstances and would provoke a lot of anger. Her father was too rigid in his role of father. He had no compassion or understanding for his daughter's feelings. His role of been the head of the family was taken to extremes. The result was a breakdown of parent and child relationship. Shakespeare might of chosen to write about parent and child relationships because he might have had a bad relationship with his parents and he is showing his feelings through his writing. By James Mankel
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