From Shadow to Sun

Like a shadow she hides in the dark, like a shadow she follows those who she’s bond to. Juliet, the most precious gem in the eyes of all people in William Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet is one of the main characters who is led by love to the grave. Juliet is a naive little girl who, when she meets Romeo, her one and true love, matures at a very rapid pace. She has lived her whole life protected by her wealthy parents and by the end discovers her real strength and courage

At the beginning of the play, Juliet, a fragile young girl, with no knowledge of love and a long way from adulthood, but surprisingly quickly grows up and matures after she falls in love. When her mother proposed that she marries Paris, she answered I’ll look to like, if looking liking move(1.3.97). Juliet obeys her parents although she doesn’t really know what she actually wants. She is also not aware of the importance of marriage and what love is at that moment. Her interpretation of love is more of a forced and needed emotion. After she meets Romeo, she declares 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 (2.2.36–40) Here, Juliet tells us that she is ready to leave her family and basically be someone else just so she could be with Romeo. Juliet is already ready to leave her family and go lead a married life with the one she loves, even if that means running away from her relatives. Her encounter with Romeo triggers her leap of growth.

Juliet’s love for Romeo is what drives her and influences her actions throughout the play, but before meeting him she was mostly guided by her parents. In the middle of the first act Juliet responded to her mother’s call with Madam, I am here. What is your will(1.3.7) Juliet has lived her whole life up until now in her father’s house, and has rarely gone out. She has passed most of her days following and talking to her mother and other relatives or servants. In instance, here, Juliet talks like a servant to her mother. Her parents are like a guide and role model to her and she has great respect for them. The night after Friar Lawrence created a plan for her to escape with Romeo, she goes alone in her chamber and recites “What if this mixture do not work at all?/Shall I be married then tomorrow morning” (4.3.22–23) “What if it be a poison which the Friar/Subtly hath ministered to have me dead”(4.3.25–26) “Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to thee” (4.3.59) Now, Juliet has taken her own decision, her own risk to drink this potion and she does it all for Romeo, so that she could be with him. Shakespeare uses this soliloquy to tell the audience how much she has changed in the matter of a couple of days. Juliet started the play as a young girl, but now that she has fallen in love, she has become a mature and independent woman.

Although Juliet has been raised in a very aristocratic family with little freedom to the outside world, she shows great courage and bravery. In Act 2, Scene 2, Juliet comes out only on her balcony where she spends her time as she can’t go out of her house without a servant following her. The young woman hasn’t experienced the outside world completely. Juliet only went out of her house when she needed to go to Friar Lawrence’s house for her wedding “Here comes the lady. O, so light a foot/Will ne’er wear out the everlasting flint” (2.6.16–17) Juliet goes out alone, without the company of servants or family members. She meets the outside world smoothly and goes on to be married with no fear of the consequences. Right before Juliet kills herself she says “Yea, noise? Then I’ll be brief. O, happy dagger,/This is thy sheath. There rust, and let me die” (5.3.174–175) At this point Juliet’s bravery is unbelievable. First she barely could go out of her home and in the end she has the strength to commit suicide. Juliet shocks everybody so much with her death that the feuding families finally make peace. Juliet reveals her real strength and courage thanks to her love.

Juliet, the shadow hiding behind her parents gets out in the light and shines as bright as the sun she really is. Thanks to Romeo and mostly, her love for him, she defeats all expectations. The young woman goes through a immense transformation and enlightens her parents and other people into making love and not war.

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