Romeo and Juliet
During the Elizabethan Era, when Romeo and Juliet was written, society was ruled by men. Women had few rights and, on the stage, were often presented as weak. Shakespeare presents the character of Juliet in a similar light at the beginning then, as the play progresses, her character changes from not being interested in marriage to killing herself because her husband is dead. At the beginning of the play Juliet is exactly as the Elizabethan community would have expected from a rich, unmarried girl. She is obedient, chaste and quiet. “I’ll look to like if looking liking moves/ but no more deep will I endart mine eye/ Than your consent gives me strength to make it fly”. Juliet is saying to her mother that she will look to like Paris but only as far as her mother wants her to. This proves that Juliet is an obedient girl because she is willing to do what her mother asks even though she is might not want to. We know that she does not really want to get married because of what she says previously. She also proves that she sticks to the expectations that Elizabethan people hold of her because this is one of the few things Juliet says throughout the entire scene. This shows that she only speaks when she is spoken to and also the fact that she does not voice any of her opinions. The reader learns very little about her character in this scene because she says so little. When Juliet says “It is an honour that I dream not of” she is telling the audience that she is chaste because she has not even thought of marriage yet. Therefore, Shakespeare has shown Juliet in a weak light as he has presented her as chaste, obedient and silent which, in the eyes of an Elizabethan audience were good qualities in a young, single woman. When Juliet meets Romeo for the second time, Romeo has already heard Juliet declare her love for him so she wants to try and find out how he feels about her. She is already starting to act differently from being around him. She starts...
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