Juliet's Growth Since the Start of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
The play “Romeo and Juliet was written in approximately 1595, by
William Shakespeare. It is set in Venice, Italy, in Venetian society
women played little role in anything other than to be a wife to their
husband and a mother. This is why many Venetian women married at such
an early age. The play is about 2 families whom are separated by a
long forgotten ancient feud.
Throughout the play of ‘Romeo and Juliet’ we see Juliet emerging as a
woman. There are many people that influence this growth. However there
are also many people which inhibit and even try to prevent her from
growing from a child into a woman. Romeo encourages Juliet to grow
and develop into an independent woman whereas Juliet’s parents and
Paris try to prevent Juliet from growing independently. Her parents
try to govern Juliet’s life by making all of her decisions for her.
Fate also plays a very important role in the ways that Juliet grows
and emerges as a woman.
In Act 1 Scene 2 Paris asks Capulet if he can marry his daughter
Juliet. However, Capulet is rather reluctant to let Juliet marry at
such an early age as “She hath not seen the change of fourteen years”.
He thinks that because Juliet is only 14 years old she is too young
for the responsibility of marriage. Capulet then tries to persuade
Paris that Juliet is too young. Nevertheless, in response Paris says
that, “Younger than she are happy mothers made.” This conversation
tells us that Capulet is trying to delay the marriage between Juliet
and Paris whereas Paris is trying to rush the marriage. Marriage for
Paris is a simply utilitarian, he wants to marry Juliet so that she
can be the mother of his children, he does not care for the fact that
Juliet may have no or little feelings for him.
When we meet Juliet in Act 1 Scene 3, she is having a conversation
with her mother. This is a very important scene as it starts to tell
us of Juliet’s relationship with her mother. The conversation is just
before the party at the Capulet’s house, the party where Juliet meets
Romeo, who is to be her future husband. “How stands your disposition
to be married”, Lady Capulet is curious about Juliet’s inclination to
be married. She wishes her daughter to think of marriage as she thinks
that it is time for her to get married. However, Juliet replies that
she is not yet ready to get married, as she says, “It is an honour
that I dream not of.” Lady Capulet then goes on in an attempt to
persuade Juliet that she should seriously consider marriage, she tells
her to “think of marriage now” she then tells Juliet about the women
who are younger than her (Juliet was around 13 years of age “Younger
than you, Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, Are already made mothers.”
As this does not seem to sway Juliet...