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Sympathy for Juliet in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Sympathy for Juliet in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet in 1595 and it is still

popular today. Its full title is "The Most Excellent and Lamentable

Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet". It is a romantic tragedy set in Verona,

about two lovers, whose families are at war with each other.

I am concentrating on Act III scene V, but I will summarise the story

up to this scene. So far, two lovers Romeo and Juliet agree to be

married even though they are from warring families. For this reason,

Juliet does not tell her parents that she has got married.

In Act III, the families fight and Juliet's cousin, Tybalt, kills

Romeo's best friend Mercutio. In a furious rage, Romeo kills Tybalt

and is banished to Mantua, on the outskirts of Verona. Meanwhile,

Juliet is in turmoil, her cousin has just been murdered and her

husband has been banished. To make things worse for Juliet, her mother

and father try to make her happier by finding her a husband not

knowing, of course, she is already married.

When Lady Capulet enters Juliet's room to tell her the news, she sees

Juliet has been crying, and assumes the tears are for Tybalt.

"Evermore weeping for your cousin's death? What, wilt thou wash him

from his grave with tears?" (Line 69). This sounds almost sarcastic

and you can feel supportive for Juliet because she has lost a great

deal. Lady Capulet continues and tells Juliet the news. "(Your father)

hath sorted a sudden day of joy… (You will) marry, my child, early

next Thursday morn…" (Lines 109-112) To which Juliet replies: "He

shall not make me there a joyful bride… I will not marry yet, and when
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...e in the world, and Shakespeare

emphasises this by leaving her alone in her room as she says the words

"Myself have the power to die". The audience is especially sympathetic

with Juliet now, because she feels she only has one option left, and

that is to kill herself.

In conclusion, Shakespeare makes the reader increasingly sympathetic

by introducing immense emotions of sorrow and sadness for Juliet,

because she has lost her family and her one true love, Romeo. The

reader has to feel sorry for Juliet, because the other characters, her

mother and father for instance, are portrayed as uncaring and unkind

to Juliet. In addition, Juliet's true situation, which we already know

about at the start of the scene, is significant; because it shows the

confusion of her parents and how it affects the way they speak and

behave.
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