Love Makes Them Grow
Marigolds may seem frail, but they’re able to grow in scorching heat and produce thick, strong stems, to protect them from the surrounding environment. Just like them, Juliet, a protagonist of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet, manages to grow into a beautiful young lady, despite the heated feud going on between the Capulets and Montagues. Juliet changes over the course of the text, going from an obedient, dependent child to an independent one. She also develops new courage and loyalty that ultimately sprouts out of love.
Over the course of the play, Juliet develops from a dependent to an independent young lady. At first, she is very obedient and prone to follow her parents’ wishes, without taking her own into consideration. She agrees to like a man she’s never met before: “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move” (1.3.97). Her parents arranged her to marry Count Paris. Showing her obedience, she agrees to have a look at him and like him just enough. In this quote Shakespeare uses alliteration, a type of euphony, to highlight the artificial happiness to her compliance. Later on, she begins to focus more on her own ambitions, which become quite clear once she meets Romeo. Knowing that their love is difficult and incredibly risky, she undergoes a series of schemes in order to see her husband again. After plotting with Friar Lawrence on taking a potion that will make her appear dead for two days, and listing countless fears that scare her, she ends her statement with, “Romeo, Romeo, Romeo! Here’s drink. I drink to / thee” (3.4.59–60). Shakespeare uses a soliloquy to show her honest thoughts. They arise to the top, and despite her desperately wanting to see her husband, she has doubts about this plan. However, since she has progressed as a character, she takes matters into her own hands and risks everything just to see Romeo again. Early-Juliet wouldn’t have done this, but of course this new and independent Juliet feels an everlasting love toward Romeo that empowers her.
Overall, Juliet is a very loyal character, especially toward Romeo. As in the aforementioned independence, her love for Romeo drives her to do daring things. After the Nurse delivers the news of Tybalt’s death by Romeo, Juliet doesn’t hesitate to take Romeo’s side. When the Nurse opposes this, Juliet shames her for putting Romeo down: “Blistered be thy tongue / For such a wish! He was not born to shame. / Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit, / For ’tis a throne where honor may be crowned” (3.2.98–102). She personifies shame by saying it can’t sit on Romeo’s brow, and continues by saying he should be prided for what he’s done. By doing this, she separates shame as a different entity, or person that isn’t in him. Even though Romeo killed her cousin, Juliet chooses him over her family, which proves her immediate loyalty toward him. Later on when her parents deliver the official wedding date on which she is to marry Paris. She has to find a way to discreetly decline, without giving away the true reason of why she can’t accept this marriage — she’s already married to Romeo. “Now, by Saint Peter’s Church, and Peter too, / He shall not make me there a joyful bride!” (3.5.122–123). This quote demonstrates dramatic irony, where her parents don’t know that she’s married, however the viewers do. This creates a conflict between them and her. It is rooted at her parents not being used to her not complying to their every order. Thus, infuriating them. It is one of the many crazy things that Juliet does out of love and loyalty to her Romeo.
Over the entire plot, Juliet transforms from a timid adolescent to a courageous young woman, even though the time span of the play is no longer than 5 days. Right away when she falls in love with Romeo, after seeing him for the first time, she takes a massive leap of faith and trusts that he loves her back just as much as she does. This is especially risky since there is a feud between their families, and embarking on this kind of relationship puts them both danger. Juliet tells herself: “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). Everything she is saying is truthful because this quote is a soliloquy. Shakespeare wants to show her love for him through the things she’s willing to do. Namely, leave her family for him. She speaks with a painful sorrow, knowing that whatever happens, their love will be hard to maintain. Later on after, being proven that Romeo is as deeply in love with her as she is with him, Juliet and the Friar come up with the faked death plan, and Juliet is once again speaking her thoughts; “There’s a fearful point. / Shall I not, then, be stifled in the vault / To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in, / And there die strangled ere my Romeo comes?” (4.3.33–36). She is contemplating some of the possible fears that arise along with the dangerous plot she has to follow. Even though these fear are truly scary to her (we know this because it’s a soliloquy), she dares to drink the sedative anyways, showing that her love to Romeo is what gives her courage to do things that frighten her most.
So it is evident that Romeo’s love really brought good qualities upon Juliet, making her very brave, loyal and independent. She isn’t afraid to stand up to her parents to get what she really wants. Even though marigolds start off weak, they grow with water and sunlight that over time, give them strength. Thus, just like water to a marigold, Romeo’s love only feeds Juliet, making her fearless, which despite having an unfortunate ending, is a daunting story forever to be remembered in literature.