Romeo & Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is about two families who hate each other and Romeo from one family and Juliet from thee other and Romeo and Juliet fall in love. The play is set in Verona, in the fourteenth century. In this society men are dominant and have all the control and power over what women can and cannot do. Therefore women are submissive and get told what to do by men and women have no power. In this essay I am going to focus on how Juliet’s parents treat her, especially in Act 3, scene 5.

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In Act 1, scene 2 Paris is asking Capulet’s permission to marry Juliet. This shows that Paris is in love with Juliet. This also shows that Lord Capulet has power over Juliet and is in charge of whom she marries, so Juliet cannot choose who she gets to marry. Lord Capulet wants Paris to wait two years because Juliet is too young. The text says ‘My child is yet a stranger to the world.’ This shows Capulet is protective over his daughter so this means he is a good father. Although marriage at fourteen is shocking to us in 2008, it wasn’t shocking in the fourteenth century, it was normal.

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In Act 1, scene 3 Lady Capulet tells Juliet about how she is going to marry Paris one day and for her to look at Paris and see what she thinks of him. The nurse and Lady Capulet are persuading Juliet to fall in love with Paris. The text says ‘Verona’s summer hath not such a flower.’ This shows Lady Capulet thinks Paris is good looking, rich, nice and would be a good husband for Juliet. Although Lady Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris, Juliet has an opinion and she thinks that she is not interested in marriage but she is going to look at him and see what she thinks. The text says ‘I’ll look to like, if looking liking move; but no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly.’ This shows that Juliet is going to look at Paris because her mother says for her to do so.

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In Act 3, scene 5 things have gone wrong for Juliet because she cannot marry Paris because she is already married to Romeo, Romeo has killed her cousin Tybalt and Romeo has been banished. Juliet is feeling really confused, angry, upset and doesn’t know what to do. When Juliet refuses to marry Paris Lord Capulet is furious. The text says ‘Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!’ This shows that Lord Capulet thinks that she is not doing what she should be doing she’s naughty and disobeying him. Also Lord Capulet threatens his daughter. The text says ‘I’ll give you to my friend and you be not hung, beg, starve and die in the streets.’ This shows that Lord Capulet is going to kick Juliet out on the streets if she doesn’t marry Paris. In this scene Lord Capulet is not being a good father, he is being nasty and not very understanding. Finally Lord Capulet has all the power and Juliet has no power.

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Also in Act 3, scene 5 Lady Capulet treats Juliet badly she is not being a good mother. The text says ‘Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee. This shows that Lady Capulet is not helping her daughter and she is not be sympathetic. We think Lady Capulet does this because she is scared of her husband so she has to obey him.

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The relationship between Juliet and her parents is not a very good relationship. The mood changes between Act 1/2 and Act 3 greatly. In Act 1/2 the parents are quite nice and in Act 3 the parents are horrible and nasty. We feel sorry for Juliet because of what her parents say to her. Particular words like disobedient wretch and baggage which are insults and offensive. This is not the way parents should be like they should be nice, understanding and they should also not call their children names.


Remembering that Romeo and Juliet is a play to be performed we need to think about facial expressions/ gestures and body language. In Act 3 scene 5 when Lord Capulet is in an aggressive state he should be screaming, shouting, frowning, pointing, clenching fists and pushing Juliet or shaking her. In contrast Juliet should be upset, frightened, screaming, shouting, crying and using her hands to protect herself and pleading for her father to stop. Romeo and Juliet are still relevant to day because we still argue with our parents and still fall in love.

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