Josefino Rivera, Jr.
February 21, 2017
The development of Juliet
Similar to a parasite, Juliet, the daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet in the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare, is a character who is very dependent and doesn’t formulate her own opinion. So, throughout the course of the story, Juliet develops her own thoughts and continuously becomes more independent according to the experiences she faces, consisting of disobeying her parents, falling deeply in love with Romeo and finally accomplishing her liberty.
William Shakespeare has created Juliet by interpreting her as a character who has transferred from a dependent person to an independent person. For instance, while Juliet was asking the nurse about the fight between Romeo and Tybalt, Juliet says, “What storm is this that blows so contrary? / Is Romeo slaughtered and is Tybalt dead?”(3.2.70–71). This shows that Juliet tells her family and the nurse what they want to hear from her, meaning Juliet doesn’t have her own opinion, so her family takes this as an advantage so they could persuade Juliet that the Montagues are evil people. So, Juliet expresses that she’s angry about Tybalt’s death, and wants to avenge her family member (Tybalt). In relation to this, this expresses that she’s loyal to her family’s interests and doesn’t have her own opinion based on her experiences. Towards the end of the story, when Juliet asks Friar Lawrence for assistance concerning the marriage, Friar Lawrence expressed to Juliet, “O Juliet, I already know thy grief. / It strains me past the compass of my wits. / I hear thou must, and nothing may prorogue it, / On Thursday next be married to this County”(4.1.47–50). This quote demonstrates that Friar Lawrence knows how Juliet feels about her upcoming marriage with Count Paris. This is dramatic irony because, for instance, Juliet’s parents don’t know that Juliet dislikes Paris and thus, wants to marry Romeo. In relation to this, Juliet made up her own mind about the marriage and feels that it should be her choice to marry or not to marry Paris. Additionally, the Friar senses that there’s no hope and that Juliet will not be able to tolerate this, so, this means she has made her mind. In conclusion, this shows Juliet has advanced and thus formed her own opinion on her marriage issue, so this reflects a dynamic character.
The playwright has also produced Juliet by depicting her as a character who truly evolved from a person with a deep love relationship to a person who essentially wanted nothing but to marry Romeo. For example, on the Balcony scene, when Romeo encountered Juliet, Juliet exclaimed, “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). This showcases that Juliet truly loves Romeo, meaning she regrets that Romeo is a Montague and that she is a Capulet. The division between their families produces a lot of issues for them because the Capulet and the Montagues have massacred themselves continuously. Shakespeare uses connotation by deeply showing that Juliet essentially asks Romeo, why he is a Montague? Juliet asks Romeo to object his last name, so they could have a peaceful relationship, not separated by violence. In addition to this, when Juliet went to consult Friar Lawrence concerning the marriage with Count Paris, she said, “O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, / From off the battlements of any tower, / Or walk in thievish ways, or bid me lurk / Where serpents are. Chain me with roaring bears, / Or hide me nightly in a charnel house” (4.1.78–81). This demonstrates that Juliet prefers to die than to marry Count Paris. She is essentially saying that she’ll do anything not to marry Paris. She also says that she prefers to live with the corrupt and the unfair people. In conclusion, this symbolizes that Juliet’s love for Romeo has transferred to a very deep level, thus, demonstrating a change in Juliet’s behavior, so, this portrays a dynamic character.
The dramatist has also portrayed Juliet as a character who gained her freedom during the play. For instance, when Lady Capulet called Juliet to converse with her about her planned marriage with Count Paris, Juliet said, “Madam, I am here. What is your will?”(1.3.7). This means that Lady Capulet has some important information to share with Juliet. When Juliet finally found her mom, Juliet demonstrates courtesy and respect to which was typical during that time. “Madam” also indicates obedience to her mom, meaning Juliet respects her mom’s authority and is prepared to listen to her. Overall, Juliet’s attitude toward her mom demonstrates that she was very loyal to her family, the Capulets. In relation to this, when Juliet met with Romeo to ask him to marry him, Juliet exclaimed, “Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed. / If that thy bent of love be honorable, / Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow”(2.2.149–151). The quote uses symbolism, specifically when Juliet said, “If that thy bent of love be honorable.” The quote shows that Juliet is essentially saying that she loves Romeo and is saying goodbye to him. In relation to this, she also said that if Romeo truly loves her and is serious about their marriage, that Romeo should send a message the next day about their marriage plans. In general, this demonstrates that Juliet has evolved into a character who enjoys liberty and doesn’t care about her parent’s authority, thus this demonstrates a dynamic character.
To synthesize, Juliet is a dynamic character, meaning she has changed her characteristics and traits during the play. Building up upon this, Juliet has made up her mind and improved her decision taking abilities, was able to select Romeo as her lover, and thus, has achieved the prosperity of gaining freedom. By the conclusion of the play, Juliet has transformed herself from a parasite to a bird, meaning she has evolved and formulated her own ideas based on her experiences.
Word Count: 1004