The Development of Juliet's Character in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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The Development of Juliet's Character in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

This essay is about Juliet's character and I am going to talk about

how her behaviour develops towards Romeo, her Nurse, and on her own

respectively. In the prologue we are informed that, 'a pair of star

crossed lovers take their life,' [line 6, prologue]. This is to make

us feel sympathy towards Romeo and Juliet. We also have to remember

Juliet is only 13 at the start of the play and little more than a

child; but she has potential to mature during the course of the play.

Act 1 Scene 5 is the first encounter between the lovers. In this scene

I think Juliet is clever just doing enough to keep Romeo interested,

'Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,' [line 99 act 1 scene

5]. She is obviously infatuated with Romeo and behaves coquettishly

towards him, 'for saints have hands that pilgrims' hand do touch,'

[line 101 act 1 scene 5]. Romeo and Juliet use religious imagery

towards one another because in an Elizabethan times religion was their

most important thing, 'This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,'

[line 96 act 1 scene 5]. In this scene the religious imagery is used

to woo each other and is formed into a sonnet emphasising their love.

Act 2 Scene 2 is the famous balcony scene of the lovers. In this scene

I feel Juliet appears immature although she is in a difficult

situation. 'Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?' [Line 35 acts 2

scene 2]. Juliet says this aloud, forgetting anyone could hear her.

The way in which she does not tell her family even though in act 1

scene 5 Capulet says, 'Verona brags of him to be a virtuous and

well-governed ...

... middle of paper ...

...lizabethan times once you are

dead you go to heaven although suicide was against God. Even so Juliet

loved Romeo enough to go against God.

In conclusion I feel Juliet is immature at the start, but develops as

the play goes on. Throughout she uses her brain to get out of tough

situations, like in act 1 scene 3 when asked about marriage. Then

towards the end she becomes more independent and shows maturity and

inner strength. I believe this play is about the effect of hate in

society. It shows how futile it is and the consequences of it on

people's lives like Romeo and Juliet. This play is a tragedy like

others of Shakespeare's, such as 'Macbeth' and 'Richard the III.' Like

in this play, good conquers evil. The families in this play make

friends at the end and both the evil Macbeth and Richard III dying in

theirs.
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