Father and Daughter Relationship in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Father and Daughter Relationship in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet In 'Romeo and Juliet' Shakespeare explores and contrasts the passion of two lovers with the violence and bitter hatred between their families. Shakespeare also has a strong theme of male domination in the play, and helps express this with the relationship between Juliet and her father, Old Capulet. Old Capulet is the head of one of the two households in contrast, Romeo is a member of the other household, the Montagues. His parents and his relationship with them is barely mentioned in the play, apart from when his Mother, Lady Montague dies of grief, after hearing Romeo had been banished, her son's exile had 'taken her breath'. In contrast to this Juliet's relationship with her father is one of the main underlying storylines in the play, and the way it is dramatised helps explains why many things are the way they are in Verona, which is the city which the Capulets and the Montagues live in. Shakespeare introduces the relationship between father and daughter in Act 1 Scene 2. Old Capulet is talking to Paris, a suitor whom he wants Juliet to marry. The audience hears of Capulet describing Juliet as his only child, saying 'Earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she; she is the hopeful lady of my heart' (lines 14-15). This gives the impression that he cares deeply for his daughter, and is a good father. The phrase 'hopeful lady of my heart' suggests he has hope for her to be something special. He tells Paris to make her fall in love with him 'but woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart' this suggests to the audience his actions are not completely selfish, that he does... ... middle of paper ... ... man, and compares the different reactions of father and daughter to marriage. This shows the audience the lack of communication and trust between the two. Throughout the play the audience I] s struck by the way Old Capulet and Juliet's relationship changes almost everyday. One moment he is exhibiting the love of a father, the next he is controlling her, using her to gain a higher social status. I believe this is because Old Capulet had to make a choice, with his last living child, Juliet. He had to choose between his desire to love Juliet as a father, and his need to marry her off, using her to control his social status. When Old Capulet chooses to use her in Act 3 Scene 4, in between scenes of such infatuation and excitement, this truly shows the audience the shallow relationship between Juliet and Old Capulet.
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