Juliet in Romeo & Juliet

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet Capulet / Pages: 10 (2482 words) / Published: Mar 8th, 2012
William Shakespeare’s tales have stood the test of time through his critique of human nature. Certain primal relationships are addressed frequently in his works and a related popular role employed by him is that of the daughter. Arguably one of the most complex roles in Shakespeare, the daughter faces certain expectations while having to handle a set of higher stakes dealt to them by their families and in general, society. An accurate example of this unique dynamic is seen through the famous teenage lover, Juliet Capulet of The Most Excellent and Lamentable Tragedy of Romeo & Juliet. The character of Juliet as a daughter breaks down societal norms and ultimately rebels against her stiflingly distant parents and for this reason is drastically underestimated. These norms pose great challenges to daughters like Juliet because of their importance in society. Expectations are demanded of Juliet by her parents reinforcing the lack of control she has over her own life. “In the fair city of Verona, where we lay our scene.” It is fairly a common social norm to become married and pregnant all in a young woman’s early teen years, roughly around twelve to fourteen. At the time of Shakespeare’s England, the average women did not marry until they were around the age of twenty one, yet in many other cultures this was normal practice. These expectations imposed by her parents, especially her mother, are the initial cause of Juliet’s distress. “Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you/Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, / are already made mother. By my count/ I was your mother much upon these years/ That you are now a maid.” (1.3.71-75) It is upsetting that she must marry at such a young age is also not aided well by the fact that the husband she must form a union with is fairly older than her. Although Romeo’s age is unknown, it is assumed that he is in his late teens and maybe even in his early twenties. Juliet’s original matched up significant other,

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