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How does the play Romeo and Juliet suggest that attitudes towards marriage and family life were very different in 15th Century Italy.

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How does the play Romeo and Juliet suggest that attitudes towards marriage and family life were very different in 15th Century Italy and in Elizabethan times than in today's society? How might Shakespeare's contemporary audience have responded to the story of the star-crossed lovers and how might we respond to it today? When Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall for each other their love is doomed by the seething hate their families share for one another. Their relationship is further wounded as the Capulets have already chosen Paris as a suitor for their daughter. Their relationship faces tragic inevitability as its seems fate is against them and the family's hate overshadows the young couples love. The audience's ideals of love are immortalised in the story of Romeo + Juliet as good conquers evil. Although the couple dies for each other, the Montagues and Capulets see the results of their foolishness through the loss of their offspring and vow to change their ways The play Romeo and Juliet is widely loved because it portrays the power of true love i.e. they die for each other because they cannot be together. It appeals to a wide range of people of all ages, as its genre is flexible in the way that has been ...read more.


However, she shows love continually throughout the play. Although the Nurse is Juliet's servant, the attitude of that is hidden, as they are very close. Act 1, scene 3; is where we first see the Nurse. This is the scene that we can gather her background information. The two sit together reminiscing on the "good old days". She can remember the exact date of Juliet's birth, a sign of a close connection. Today people get married because they love and trust each other and would like to be committed to each other. Men and women both have equal responsibilities and marriage is not essential for having children. Whereas in the 15th Century people married because their parents had arranged the marriage as they thought it was a suitable match. Juliet did not want to marry Paris this is clear in the play when Juliet says, "I will not marry yet.' This shows that she is not prepared to marry just anyone, especially not somebody who means nothing to her and that she wants her marriage to mean something to her. She wants to marry for love. During the 15th Century, only wealth and security were relevant in a marriage. ...read more.


what love can do, that dares love attempt:" Although the language used is much different from today, it is made obvious to the audience what the two lovers are saying, as it is spoken very softly and quite beautifully. Their love for each other is obvious to the audience, even without actions. The words of this scene say and do everything. A lot has changed since the play was written in the 15th century when it comes to love, marriage and family life. However I believe that the play 'Romeo and Juliet' would have the same affect on an audience back then as it would on a modern day audience. Romeo and Juliet does not make a specific moral statement about the relationships between love and society, religion, and family; rather, it portrays the chaos and passion of being in love, combining images of love, violence, death, religion, and family in an impressionistic rush leading to the play's tragic conclusion. That is what makes it so interesting. In the play, love emerges as an amoral thing, leading as much to destruction as to happiness. But in its extreme passion, the love that Romeo and Juliet experience also appears so exquisitely beautiful that few would want, or be able, to resist its power. ...read more.

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