Juliet Essay – Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
In the play Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, the character Juliet goes through many changes and tragedies in her life. Shakespeare conveys Juliet, in the beginning, as a young hearted, naïve, daddy’s girl who would never think twice of disobeying her family. However, as the play continues Juliet changes into a mature, compassionate woman. Moreover, Juliet’s character undergoes significant changes during the course of the play and she begins to look at life through a different perspective.
Firstly, Juliet changes from being an obedient and unquestioning girl to an independent and confident young woman. An example of this is found near the opening of the play when Juliet says to her mother, “I’ll look like, if looking liking moves; but no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly” (Act I, Scene III, Lines 97-98). In other words, Juliet is stating how she will cooperate with her parents, and do whatever they wish. However, near the end of the play Juliet becomes so self-assured that she even defies her own father and learns to think for herself. For example, when Juliet is talking to herself she declares, “Go counselor! . . . I’ll to the friar to know his remedy. If all else fail, myself have power to die” (Act III, Scene V, Line 242). What Juliet is implying is that even if her plan fails; she is still willing to take responsibility for her actions, even if it means she must die.
Secondly, Juliet experiences further changes. However, the outset of the play she is portrayed as an innocent girl. As the play progresses she becomes rebellious and questions her father’s authority. One incident that shows this is when she refuses to marry Paris and tells her mother, “Now by Saint Peter’s church, and Peter, too, he shall not make me there a joyful bride . . . I pray you tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet; and when I do, I swear it shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, rather than Paris.” (Act III, Scene V, Line 124)! Also the above illustrates the risks that Juliet is willing to take by refusing to marry Pairs. As a result of her behavior her father becomes very angry. However, Juliet appears unaffected by his reaction showing that she has become very rebellious.
The final changes in Juliet’s character are concerned with her experiences with love and all its hardships. For example, when she hears of the death of her cousin Tybalt she is upset. However, she is devastated when she hears about Romeo’s banishment. “Tybalt’s death was woe enough . . . Romeo is banished-to speak that word . . . There is no end . . . No words can that woe sound” (act III, scene II, lines 114-126).
In conclusion, Juliet experiences a number of tragedies that have a profound effect on her. However, her character also endures many positive changes that help her to develop into a more mature woman. Moreover, her sense of perspective and her naïve way of viewing the world also change as she goes through life-altering events.