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How Are The Relationships In Both ‘Romeo And Juliet’ And ‘Great Expectations’ Represented And Developed?

1262 words - 6 pages

In both Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and Dickens ‘Great Expectations’, the relationships between adults and children show tension, dominance, obedience and victimisation. Although many of the relationships appear to be strained and negative, there are points in both the novel and the play script that show the relationships in a more loving and respectable light.
Comparing the times in which both texts were written in regards to how relationships are portrayed, Dickens wrote of a matriarchal society. For example Mrs Joe from ‘Great Expectations’ was seen as the head of the family. This dominance and strength in character is shown by “You staring great stuck pig!” being used as a putdown towards Mr Joe when things were not going her way. This suggests that Mrs Joe is quite used to getting what she wants and treats her own husband as if he was common dirt. Alternatively relating to the times in which Dickens wrote the novel, The use of the word “Pig” was at the time regarded as a swear word; Meaning that it was not said to anyone in any sort of authority. Taken further to suggest just how much distain Mrs Joe appeared to have for her family.
Conversely, Shakespeare wrote of a patriarchal society whereas the man ran the household. This is shown in the play by Lord Caplet’s use of “I will not be forsworn” in regards to Juliet going against his wishes. Both Lord Capulet and Mrs Joe share their self-imposed views of hierarchy. Relating back to the times ‘Romeo and Juliet’ was based on, “Forsworn” meant that Juliet was forbidden to go against his word. Back in Victorian Italy you did not go against your father’s wishes. Thus furthering my point on it being portrayed as a patriarchal society. To go against your father’s wishes was at the time the ultimate display of disobedience and rebellion, and not taken too lightly. The audience might feel anger by the way Juliet was being treated or contrastingly disheartened as if Juliet was being monopolised by Lord Capulet.
Both texts also show surrogate parental figures whom share positive relationships with the children they are placed with. For example, Mr Joe in ‘Great Expectations’ is Pip’s brother in law, bound only by marriage and mutually Mrs Joe. Mr Joe is also seen by Pip to be a father figure. As Pip himself did not have a father growing up, he latched onto Mr Joe for both physical and emotional support. Their relationship is open, friendly and comic at times. Although Pip treated Mr Joe like some sort of commoner in chapter twenty seven page one hundred and eighty six when Mr Joe ventured to see Pip as a mature ‘Gentleman’ in London. They have always been shown by Dickens to have a positive and seemingly loving relationship. This being shown by the phrase “Manners in manners but still your elth is your elth” being used to show Mr Joes Concern towards pip. Picking up on the word “elth” shows that Pip and Mr Joe were shown to have a similar mental age. A reader could understand that Mr Joe had...

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