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How Female Fear Leads To Tragedy In Romeo And Juliet

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In contradiction to modern North American responsiveness, in Renaissance Italy, the purposes of women were prescribed by rules and expectations determined by stringent patriarchal values. In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, female characters believe that they, and the women they are answerable for, must agree to society’s expectations and the result makes these women accountable for the final shocking ending of the play. The Nurse, Juliet’s primary caregiver, dangerously influences Juliet to be married, and it is this deceived desire that drives Juliet towards her death. Furthermore, Lady Capulet’s blind submission to her husband’s wishes induces her to ignore her daughter’s pleas and offers which causes Juliet’s death.

In Romeo and Juliet, the Nurse is one of the females liable for the tragic ending because of her poor choice to support the ill-advised marriage and then her sequential disloyalty of Juliet. When the Nurse initially helps Juliet marry Romeo it is because she longs for Julict to achieve the highest, most admirable goal Juliet can accomplish as a woman in Renaissance Italy: to marry a man of high status, become a faithful wife and have children. For example, when the Nurse effects Juliet news about Romeo’s plan for a quick marriage, instead of dissuading Juliet and giving her reasons to slow down their relationship, the Nurse says, ‘Then hie you hence to Friar Lawrence’s cell;/ There stays a husband to make you a wife Hic you to church; I must another way, /To fetch a ladder, by the which your love (25 69-70, 72-73) She is so happy that Juliet is becoming married to any available gentleman that she sees no harm in making the unconscious wedding. To the son of the family’s enemy, a reality. The Nurse even goes out of her way to help the marriage happen: she communicates Romeo to determine the wedding time and she gets the ladder for the wedding night. Not only does the Nurse help additional along with the terrible relationship between Romeo and Juliet, but she also encourages Juliet to marry Paris after Romeo is banished for Tybalt’s murder. In order to hide the previous marriage, that will get both her and Juliet in trouble, and to preserve both of their reputations, she recommends a quick resolution: ‘I think you are happy in this second match, /For it excels your first: or if it did not,/Your first is dead; or ’twere as good he were, /As living here and you no use of him’ (3.5.222-225).

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Lady Capulet is also effective for Juliet’s death because she pressures her daughter to conform to the patriarchal expectations of marriage and then when she takes her husband’s side willingly of Juliet’s. Firstly, Lady Capulet encourages Juliet to hastily marry Paris, going along with Lord Capulet’s idea that this marriage will bring cheer to the family, helping them to get. over their mourning for Tybalt. Because young women were expected to desire the marriage- matches made for them by their parents, she makes the assumption the Juliet will be overjoyed with the wedding plans, regardless of how quick they are, when she says. ‘Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child. One who, to put thee from thy heaviness./ Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy./That thou expects not. nor I look’d not for (3.5.107-110) Lady Capulet presumes that Juliet will be pleased with what would have been acknowledged a normal and acceptable arrangement in this society. She does not consider Juliet’s feelings about this plan and makes assumptions about Juliet’s grief being for Tybalt, which increases her shock when Juliet declines to wed Paris. Secondly, Lady Capulet does not ask for an explanation for Juliet’s strong, negative response to the wedding arrangement, and instead, she calls her daughter a fool and lets her husband angrily and harshly threaten Juliet. When Juliet begs her mother to delay the marriage and not disown her as Lord Capulet has threatened to, Lady Capulet’s response is, ‘Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word. /Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee’ (3.5.202-203). Instead of supporting her daughter or at least delaying the marriage until Juliet can give a reason for not marrying Paris, Lady Capulet chooses not to listen to her and supports her husband’s threats. Her mother’s lack of sympathy and arrangement of patriarchal ideals above Juliet’s wellbeing also pushes Juliet to seek a desperate solution for her problem: She rushes to Friar Lawrence who devises a plan to fake Juliet’s death. Unfortunately, this plan goes awry, and Romeo and Juliet commit suicide to be together. Therefore, Lady Capulet is responsible for her daughter’s death because she unwisely pressures Julict to hastily marry Paris simply because it suits the patriarchal values of the time, and when Juliet refuses to give in to that pressure. Lady Capulet supports her husband instead of her daughter, leaving Juliet no other possibility than to go find other solutions to her problem that ends up getting her killed. If Juliet is kicked out of her parents’ house it would break the Nurse’s heart to see someone she considers a daughter humiliated and neglected by society. Unfortunately, Juliet sees this suggestion by the Nurse as a betrayal to Romeo and, as a result, she seeks out Friar Lawrence to give her a different, and more dangerous, a solution to her problem: Juliet fakes her death with causes her and Romeo’s real passing. Accordingly, because the Nurse is responsible for bringing these children of enemies together by supporting and arranging their secret marriage, she also drives Juliet to her death by suggesting Juliet hide that first marriage by marrying Paris, making the Nurse one of the primary people responsible for the young lovers’ deaths.

Lady Capulet is also responsible for Juliet’s death because she pressures her daughter to conform to the patriarchal expectations of marriage and then when she takes her husband’s side preferably of Juliet’s. Firstly, Lady Capulet encourages Juliet to hastily marry Paris, going along with Lord Capulet’s idea that this marriage will bring cheer to the family, helping them to get. over their mourning for Tybalt. Because young women were expected to desire the marriage- matches made for them by their parents, she makes the assumption the Juliet will be overjoyed with the wedding plans, regardless of how quick they are, when she says. ‘Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child. One who, to put thee from thy heaviness./ Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy./That thou expects not. nor I look’d not for (3.5.107-110) Lady Capulet presumes that Juliet will be happy with what would have been considered a normal and acceptable arrangement in this society. She does not consider Juliet’s feelings about this plan and makes assumptions about Juliet’s grief being for Tybalt, which increases her shock when Juliet refuses to wed Paris. Secondly, Lady Capulet does not ask for an explanation for Juliet’s strong, negative response to the wedding arrangement, and instead, she calls her daughter a fool and lets her husband angrily and harshly threaten Juliet. When Juliet begs her mother to delay the marriage and not disown her as Lord Capulet has threatened to, Lady Capulet’s response is, ‘Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word. /Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee’ (3.5.202-203). Instead of supporting her daughter or at least delaying the marriage until Juliet can give a reason for not marrying Paris, Lady Capulet chooses not to listen to her and supports her husband’s threats. Her mother’s lack of sympathy and placement of patriarchal ideals above Juliet’s wellbeing also pushes Juliet to seek a desperate solution for her problem: She rushes to Friar Lawrence who devises a plan to fake Juliet’s death. Unfortunately, this plan goes awry, and Romeo and Juliet commit suicide to be together. Therefore, Lady Capulet is responsible for her daughter’s death because she unwisely pressures Julict to hastily marry Paris simply because it suits the patriarchal values of the time, and when Juliet refuses to give in to that pressure. Lady Capulet supports her husband instead of her daughter, leaving Juliet no other option than to go find other solutions to her problem that ends up getting her killed.

In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, when women conform to society’s. patriarchal expectations, and pressure those that they are supposed to be looking out for to do the same. Any tragic results are their fault. Firstly when the Nurse blindly desires to see Juliet wed. something she has been taught that all women should aspire to, she unwisely helps Juliet marry Romeo, the son of their family small When Romeo is banished, and Juliet is rebelling against being forced into a marriage to Paris. the Nurse makes a second mistake out of fearing the wrath of patriarchal society: she advises Juliet to wed Paris to avoid being disowned by her father. Not only is Juliet driven by the Nurse to go seek a different and dangerous solution to avoid marrying Paris, but Lady Capulet is also responsible for Juliet’s death because she supports the hasty marriage to Paris in the first place. When Juliet rejects this arrangement, instead of finding out why Lady Capulet conforms to her society’s expectation and supports her husband instead of her daughter. Juliet is left with no allies among the mother-figures in her life and goes through with a dangerous plan of faking her death, but this leads to Romeo’s death, and then Juliet’s suicide as a result. Therefore, when women place the desires of a male-dominated society over their responsibilities of being good caregivers, it is often children, in particular, young women, who get hurt.

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How Female Fear Leads To Tragedy In Romeo And Juliet. (2022, February 18). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 8, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-female-fear-leads-to-tragedy-in-romeo-and-juliet/
“How Female Fear Leads To Tragedy In Romeo And Juliet.” Edubirdie, 18 Feb. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/how-female-fear-leads-to-tragedy-in-romeo-and-juliet/
How Female Fear Leads To Tragedy In Romeo And Juliet. [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-female-fear-leads-to-tragedy-in-romeo-and-juliet/> [Accessed 8 Feb. 2023].
How Female Fear Leads To Tragedy In Romeo And Juliet [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 18 [cited 2023 Feb 8]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/how-female-fear-leads-to-tragedy-in-romeo-and-juliet/
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