Character Development Essay

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In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is the lead female character. At first, she is portrayed as a young-hearted obedient girl, in just five acts time she undergoes significant change and matures. In the following paragraphs we see how she begins to view things from a changing perspective.

At the beginning of the play, Juliet is shown as a young and naïve girl with no experience in love or marriage. When her parents want her to get married with Paris, although she has not given it much thought – “It is an honour that I dream not of” (I.III) she still says to her mother “I’ll look like, if looking liking movies, but no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent give me strength to make it fly” (I.III). She is stating that she will co-operate with her parents if that is what they want, even if it is marrying a man she does not know. Lord Capulet even said to Paris “my child is yet a stranger to the world” (I.III.Ln.8). This shows that Juliet is not mentally or physically developed to marry and that she has not yet matured.

But when Juliet meets Romeo, she discovers true love for the first time. This is the turning point of her maturity. “Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake…Then have my lips the sin that they have took” (I.V.Ln.104&106), showing she is no obedient girl anymore. Juliet has grown into womanhood. They plan to get married and elope to escape the feud and be together. Juliet has matured by becoming independent. She has opinions of her future and knows what she wants out of life. This is also seen with the bond between Juliet and the nurse. Before she met Romeo, she heavily relied on the nurse but now she has her own opinions and ignored the nurse’s advice when she told Juliet to marry Paris to get out of trouble. Although she still relies on the nurse, Juliet depends on her less which suggests the nurse’s influence on her has weakened. Juliet is now an independent young woman who knows what she wants....
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