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Scene Analysis: Romeo And Juliet Essay


Discuss how Juliets relationships are established in Act 1, scene 3. How do these relationships change and develop later in the play?

In William Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet, the relationships of Juliet Capulet are established as being that of the stereotypical Shakespearean adolescent: she is in relationships where she is innocent, obedient, nave and truthful. However during the play she transforms into a passionate, assertive, and confident young woman. The change in her behaviour alters the night she meets Romeo, she becomes independent of her parents and decisive. Different versions of Romeo and Juliet portray these relationships in different ways: Baz Luhrmans version is different to older versions as it was made in the 20th century, whereas theatres that showed the play at the time of Shakespeare would only have had men on stage, adding a comedy factor to the play of having men acting in the female roles.

The audience first meets Juliet in Act 1, Scene 3. It is a Sunday afternoon and the household is getting ready for the party which is happening that night. Lady Capulet wishes to speak to Juliet about marriage however Juliet has no interest in the matter and when asked she quiet bluntly says;

Ill look to like, if looking liking move

This quote uses alliteration and also has a double meaning: that she will expect to like him and if seeing him is enough then she will need no more encouragement, but if he falls short of her expectations she will not tolerate his affection.

In the same scene we see how the nurses relationship with Juliet differs from the relationship that Juliet and her mother Lady Capulet have. When Lady Capulet wishes to speak to Juliet alone she is quiet assertive and sharp in telling the nurse to leave;

This is the matter, nurse give leave a while we must talk in secret

However when the nurse leaves, Lady Capulet becomes almost intimidated by her own daughter and unable to communicate with her and exclaims;

Nurse come back again

This demonstrates how the relationship that Juliet has with her mother is very contrasting to the relationship which most mothers and daughters have in the 21st century. They are quiet formal to each other and no closeness is felt between the two characters this can be seen from various productions which have been made about Romeo and Juliet. Indeed Juliet feels closer and more at ease with the nurse than her maternal mother. The nurse brought Juliet up; doing all the motherly things, whereas Juliets mother only sees her has another object in her materialistic world. Even after Juliet has stated she has no interest in marriage her mother says

I was a mother much upon these years

This quote has a double meaning: in that Lady Capulet is saying she had Juliet by the time she was 14 and it is also putting more pressure on Juliet to marrying Paris. Lady Capulet then continues to go about marrying him as if it is a business transaction and that its only the cover that matters: and the more money the better the cover. Juliet being the obliging daughter agrees to meet the valiant Paris. At the end of the scene the nurse says:

Go girl seek happy days to happy nights

This quote has a playful juxtaposition of days and nights. It clearly shows how the nurse and Juliet can tease each other, which from outset the audience feels Juliet cannot have with her mother.

Later that evening at the party, Juliet meets another mans eyes across the room, his name is Romeo. This could not be a more dreadful person for Juliet to fall in love with as the Montagues and the Capulets are age old enemies. When Juliet asks the Nurse for his name she says;

Go ask his name if he be married

My grave is like by wedding bed

This is an ironic anticipation of events that are to happen and contains two of the main paradoxes which run throughout the play of love and death. It is the first time that Juliet shows strong feelings and emotion that are not controlled y her parents. When told he is actually a Montague she says;

My only love sprung from my only hate

The sprung implies that it has been quiet a sudden decision that she is in love, the quote contains a juxtaposition of love and hate which are strong features throughout the play. In the Baz Luhrmans production it almost turns into comedy which adds to the whole commotion.

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