Free Fall for Love
Just like free falling, the one needs to be determined to fall down before taking the action, once Juliet makes a move, she can’t turn it back. In the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, Juliet, the young and beautiful daughter of the Capulet family is described as a dynamic character. She grows to live away from her family independently then her obedience to her family goes to her love, Romeo. 13 years old heart experiences the star-crossed love that takes her life away.
Throughout the play, Shakespeare shows that Juliet is a dynamic character as Juliet learns to be more independent from her family. In the beginning of the play, Lady Capulet suggests Juliet to marry Count Paris, who is a rich, handsome man with high social status. Juliet then responds by saying “I’ll look to like if looking liking move. / But no more deep will I endart mine eye / Than your consent gives strength to make it fly” (1.3.103–105). This quote shows that Juliet considers her mother’s opinion and that she is dependent on her family. But when she meets Romeo, she is not dependent on her family anymore. After Romeo was banished from Verona for killing Tybalt, Friar Lawrence, who tries to make the love of Romeo and Juliet a success, he suggests Juliet to drink a potion which will fake her death. So when she wakes up in her tomb, she can be with Romeo. She takes the potion without her parents’ permission. In her soliloquy before drinking the potion, she says “Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to thee” (4.3.59–60). By drinking this potion, Juliet proves more that she has changed and that she is independent. She is dedicated to Romeo enough to forget about her past and her family. These two quotes show the readers that Juliet changed over the play, by gaining her independence from her family then later learns to depend on Romeo.
Juliet’s obedience to her family shifts to Romeo. For nearly 14 years, Juliet was described as a loyal daughter, who everyone loves. Looking back at the memories, the nurse proudly says “On Lammas Eve at night shall she be fourteen. / That shall she. Marry, I remember it well. / ’Tis since the earthquake now eleven years, / And she was weaned (I never shall forget it) / Of all the days of the year, upon that day. / For I had then laid wormwood to my dug, / Sitting in the sun under the dovehouse wall” (Nurse.1.3.23–29). This quote shows that the nurse, who is like the godmother of Juliet, and Juliet were close to each other for 14 years. The nurse is happy and proud to feed Juliet her breast and to see her grow up. But Juliet starts obeying Romeo over her family. After her marriage with Romeo, Romeo was involved in a fight with Capulet and ended up killing one of the Capulets. Juliet takes Romeo’s side even if Romeo has killed one of his family members. The nurse asks “Will you speak well of him that killed your cousin?” (Nurse.3.2.105) but then Juliet responds “Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?” (Juliet.3.2.106). When Juliet finds out that Romeo killed her cousin, Tybalt, Juliet starts to worry about Romeo more than Tybalt. This quote is a great example of her change in obedience to Romeo from her family and shows that she is loyal to Romeo. But her reason for the change in her obedience shows a lot about her love to Romeo.
Shakespeare shows Juliet as a hopeless romantic as she shows lots of love spent towards Romeo. After she fell in love with Romeo, she figured out that her only love sprung from my only hate, meaning that he is from an enemy family: the Montagues. Since those two families hate each other so much, lovers made between the two families were not possible. But that didn’t stop Juliet from loving Romeo. She speaks “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? / Deny thy father and refuse thy name, / Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, / And I’ll no longer be a Capulet” (2.2.36–39). Juliet loves Romeo so much, she was ready to give up her own name and past to follow Romeo. Her soliloquy shows a lot about Juliet’s lustful emotions and her inner conflicts. Furthermore, we can see her love to Romeo heading to the end of the play. When Juliet wakes up from the long sleep from the potion, she finds Romeo’s dead body on the floor instead of him in her arms. Once again, she takes an action she can’t turn back. “O, happy dagger, / This is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die” (5.3.174–175) Because she loves Romeo so much, Juliet decides to kill herself with Romeo’s dagger. Her action shows that she is committed and loyal and will follow her love everywhere -even if it’s death. This is a situational irony that happened because of the superfluous mistake of timing. While showing that Juliet loves Romeo infinitely, her love also shows an obsession, leading her not to think properly and making bad decisions; just like her action.
Juliet became more independent upon her family and have acquiescence in Romeo because she loves Romeo so much. Even though Juliet dreamed of living with her love, Romeo, lots of obstacles came through, making the free fall seem much more dangerous. Their names and Juliet’s early choice to live separated from her family and to love someone so fast couldn’t make a 13 years old girl’s romantic dream to be true. Hence, her quick decision to free fall directly into Romeo’s heart didn’t make it possible for Juliet to land back to the ground safely.