Discuss The Different Attitudes Towards Love And Marriage Presented In Act 3 Scenes 4 And 5 Of Shakespeare's "Romeo And Juliet"

1694 words - 7 pages

Modern audiences would blame Paris for not courting Juliet, however in Shakespeare's time Paris would have been considered as behaving in a much more proper fashion than Romeo. Private courting between young people, illustrated in Romeo and Juliet, was officially disapproved of. There are many types of love in the two scenes, for example Paris's love. Paris is the man Juliet's parents think is fit for her; however this arranged marriage does not involve love - love was not a feeling, it was a commitment. Another type of love is illustrated in Romeo and Juliet. When Romeo met Juliet, Romeo became more passionate, seen in his language compared with his language about Rosaline. Juliet also became more independent. Their love was so strong they were willing to die for each other, although their families had gone through years of hatred.Wealthy men and women of Shakespeare's time considered that 'true love' was when young men fell in love with beautiful young women, with little hope of winning the women's love in return, and unrequited love was common among the men, such love did not lead to marriage. Marriage in Shakespeare's era was normally arranged by parents between the families. Priority in marriage concerned: legal contracts, family pride and, of course, money. Love did not enter in it at all, or only as a secondary consideration, as it does in Act 3 Scene 4, where Paris appears passionately keen to marry Juliet immediately and says to Capulet, 'My lord, I would that Thursday were tomorrow'.In Act 1, Capulet is asked by Paris for Juliet's hand in marriage, 'But now my lord what say you to my suit?' Capulet is not willing; he expresses his concern about Juliet's age, 'My child is yet a stranger in the world' and 'Let two more summer's wither in their pride' Also in Act 1, Capulet arranges a ball to which Paris is invited. Capulet told Paris, at the ball, that he would agree to their marriage only if Juliet agreed, 'And she agreed, within her scope of choice lies my consent and fair according voice' this means; 'if she agrees, I will give my consent to her marrying the man she chooses'. However in Act 3 Scene 4 his assurances to Paris that Juliet will be dutiful are dramatically ironic, because Juliet has already married Romeo and is spending the night with him. Also in Act 3 Scene 4 Capulet changes his mind about waiting two more years, and decide to go ahead with the marriage with Paris without Juliet's consent. He also changes his mind on what day they should marry for no apparent reason. From Act 1 to Act 3 Scene 5, Capulet has gone from letting his daughter choose a groom to forcing and violently threatening her into an arranged marriage with Paris. His 'fingers itch' to strike Juliet.In Act 3 Scene 4, when Capulet informs Paris of Tybalt's death and the effect he thinks this has on Juliet, he uses language that states that Juliet is his property; '... that we have had no time to move our daughter'. Capulet also thinks that he is in no doubt...

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