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Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet”, the Development of Juliet as a Woman

The style of thinking, reasoning as well as acting changes with time during the process of development. Playwrights have resolved to address the changes or experiences that one encounters during his/her development. For instance, William Shakespeare in his Romeo and Juliet illustrates the process of development through Juliet, the hero of the story. She begins as a young, obedient, and dependent girl to a mature independent woman. As the story unfolds, Juliet changes from an immature, shallow-minded girl to a mature responsible woman, with each change characterized by a different view of life. During her tender age, Juliet is the least interested in marriage.

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The play kicks off with a dialogue between Lady Capulet and Juliet, who is in a white gown with wings at her back to make her appear like an angel. Lady Capulet introduces the issue of marriage to Juliet since she claims to have given birth to Juliet at the current age Juliet. In fact, when asked about her stand concerning Paris, the proposed husband-to-be, Juliet says, “I’ll look like if looking liking moves; but no more deep will I end art mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly” (Act I Scene III Lines 97-98). These words picture Juliet as a young immature girl, who shows no interest in getting married. She does not even know anything concerning marriage explaining the reason why she requests for a stop to the dialogue. In addition, she talks of giving him an attempt, revealing how immature she is concerning love issues. During this time, she cannot decide or think on her own but rather has to rely on what her parents say. However, as the play ends, she has changed to an independent woman, able to make decisions of her own. For instance, in a monologue, Juliet asserts, “Go counselor!… I will to the friar to know his remedy. If all else fail, myself have power to die” (Act III Scene V Line 242). She stands out as a person responsible for any of her actions and is even ready to face death in pursuit of her plans. Juliet too changes from an innocent girl to a rebellious woman.

As the play opens, she concurs with what her parents says, with no incidents of collisions. However, with time, she becomes rebellious even to her parents, who propose Paris to be Juliet’s future husband. She says to her mother, “Now by Saint Peter’s church, and Peter, too, he shall not make me there a joyful bride… I pray you tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet; and when I do, I swear it shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, rather than Paris” (Act III Scene V Line 124). The fully developed Juliet reaches the level of taking risks, as her rebellious words portray. In addition, the play depicts a significant change in Juliet’s perspective towards love. She began as one, less interested in issues of love. However, following the banishment of Romeo, she says, “Tybalt’s death was woe enough… Romeo is banished-to speak that word… There is no end… No words can that woe sound” (act III scene II lines 114-126). There is a significant difference between girls in Juliet’s time and those of today.

During Juliet’s time, girls could afford to chat with older women, including their parents, about issues of love and marriage. However, that is a rare chat nowadays. Girls today would rather talk about the issues when already married and not young. Parents in Juliet’s time seem to have played a major role in determining whom the daughter married. On the contrary, today’s parents have no power to do so. It is upon the girls to choose whom they want to marry.

Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2003. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 29). Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet”, the Development of Juliet as a Woman. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/shakespeare-romeo-and-juliet-the-development-of-juliet-as-a-woman/

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StudyCorgi. (2021, December 29). Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet”, the Development of Juliet as a Woman. https://studycorgi.com/shakespeare-romeo-and-juliet-the-development-of-juliet-as-a-woman/

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"Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet”, the Development of Juliet as a Woman." StudyCorgi, 29 Dec. 2021, studycorgi.com/shakespeare-romeo-and-juliet-the-development-of-juliet-as-a-woman/.

1. StudyCorgi. "Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet”, the Development of Juliet as a Woman." December 29, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/shakespeare-romeo-and-juliet-the-development-of-juliet-as-a-woman/.


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StudyCorgi. "Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet”, the Development of Juliet as a Woman." December 29, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/shakespeare-romeo-and-juliet-the-development-of-juliet-as-a-woman/.

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StudyCorgi. 2021. "Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet”, the Development of Juliet as a Woman." December 29, 2021. https://studycorgi.com/shakespeare-romeo-and-juliet-the-development-of-juliet-as-a-woman/.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Shakespeare: “Romeo and Juliet”, the Development of Juliet as a Woman'. 29 December.

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