An Unlikely Partnership: Juliet’s Search For Extra Family Counsel

1065 words - 5 pages

Romeo and Juliet remains prevalent throughout 21st century popular culture, film, and literature, despite its hundreds of years of age. The play, with its family rivalry, compassionate lovers, and grand battle scenes, is a story custom made for theater and film. However, salacious Hollywood movies often avoid the seemingly unimportant minor characters such as Friar Lawrence and the Nurse. However, popular culture’s disregard for this aspect of the play does not make it irrelevant. In Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, Juliet forms crucial relationships with Friar Lawrence and the Nurse, which that are necessitated by 16th family structures, and benefit both the adults and Juliet.
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” (3.5.167-169). Capulet becomes so upset not only because he does not have empathy or sufficient understanding for Juliet, but also because he views her as a way to pass on the Capulet name, rather than as a child to love. This necessitates Juliet to look for advice from her Nurse and from Father Lawrence, to quell the emotional challenge raised both by a banished Romeo, but also from her father’s attempted “solution”. In doing so, she is more likely to gain understanding, empathetic counsel from these two sources than her father, in large part due to the structure and convention of a 16th century family.
Juliet benefits considerably from the advice which she receives from outside her family. In order to understand this fully, one must look immediately after the aforementioned scene with Lord Capulet and Juliet regarding Juliet’s marriage. Juliet seeks counsel from her Nurse, and the Nurse delivers it effectively. She tells Juliet to examine and evaluate the merits of marriage with Paris, bringing comfort to Juliet that her mother could not provide. Juliet says: “Well, thou hast comforted me marvelous much.” (3.5.243). This means that the relationship with her Nurse allows for Juliet to remain emotionally stable for a short period of time, at least. Keeping Juliet stable allows her to remain part of the Capulet family, and appeases the furious Lord Capulet. Remaining part of the Capulet family is absolutely essential in the 16th century because the Capulets provided for all of Juliet’s needs. Therefore, it is necessary that she could please her parents, and the counsel of the Nurse allowed her to do this. In a more broad sense, having a less judgmental person to go to than her parents allows for Juliet to grow from a relatively immature person to a more mature women. She can do so because of the Nurse, as well as the assistance of Friar Lawrence to aid her in doing so. Juliet’s maturation is essential to the plot of the play because it allows for her to realize that she held the choice of continuing her life, not her father. Gaining assistance from the Nurse and Friar Lawrence allows Juliet to remain a member of the Capulet family, as well as...

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