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To whatextent does the society and values of the time the play "Romeo and Juliet" was written influence the outcome of the play?

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To what extent does the society and values of the time the play "Romeo and Juliet" was written influence the outcome of the play? In the age of Rome and Juliet's creation, many values of society were different from those we can observe in modern day life. Women did not have equal rights, fathers had a lot more authority over their children and arranged marriages were still practiced. A big factor was people's Christian faith; it was much stronger in those days so the church played a huge role in society. There are lots of factors that contribute to the outcome of the play and these can be separated into Generic factors and society and values. In modern families, parents tend to have control over the household. They do not force the children to marry or force their life decisions upon them but they have a subtle yet firm grasp on their children's lives. They use this grasp to guide, not to force their children. However, in the time of Romeo and Juliet, the parents had control over the household, the father more so than the mother. They would tell their children how to live. We see evidence of this in Act III Scene v when Capulet discusses marriage with Juliet. He is very upset to hear that she does not want to go through with her arranged marriage. ...read more.


In Act I Scene ii Romeo meets Capulet's servant. The servant had been given the guest list of the party and has been told to find all the people on it, only he couldn't read. He needed to find out who they were, so he asked Romeo to read it for him. Romeo saw that Rosaline (the girl he liked) was invited so he decided to go. This shows that education was a big factor because if the servant was had have been able to read, Romeo would not have gone to the party and met Juliet. Marriage was considered very important in those days. A woman would have no honour if she was not married. This is partly why a father would arrange his daughter's marriage. Also, people did not get divorced in Verona because they were Catholic. Juliet's arranged marriage was also in response to Tybalt's death, her parents thought it would cheer her up and bring the family closer together in their time of grievance, we see this in Act III Scene v. Lady Capulet: "Find thou means, and I'll find such a man But now I'll tell thee joyful tidings girl"... " Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child, one who, to put thee from thy heaviness, hath sorted out a sudden day of joy..." ...read more.


Also if the Friar had refused to marry them things would have been a lot different. Many factors that contribute to the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet were purely fate and chance, circumstances beyond our control. We observe several characters speaking of "unhappy tidings" and they refer to fate and chance. In Act V Scene ii when Friar Lawrence and Friar John talk about the letter, Friar Lawrence says "Unhappy fortune!" An Elizabethan audience would have taken more notice of this because they believed in fate a lot more than today's audience. Conclusion There were many issues to do with the society and values of the time that stood between Romeo and Juliet, but some of them brought them together. The society and values contributed to the outcome of the play to a great extent, but fate and chance was the catalyst that created the tragic outcome. I think that if it wasn't for the simple bad luck, Romeo and Juliet could have been together. The Elizabethan audience would have seen it like this because they had first hand experience of the society and values of the time. The modern audience has a much narrower understanding of all the things affecting Romeo and Juliet. But the Elizabethan audience would have had less sympathy with Romeo and Juliet than a modern audience because they would look down on people going against the major factors of their society as Romeo and Juliet did. They didn't feel that true love was of much importance. ...read more.

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