Juliet: a Brave Teen in an Overly Expected World

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Romeo and Juliet shows how a love story tangled in emotions can change how people react to true love. What makes someone react extremely to an incident that most people would just take in? Does Romeo self-consciously make the decisions that lead him straight to his death or is Juliet to blame? While literary critics often associate extreme emotions with Romeo but so does Juliet. Juliet seems like a seamless responsible girl tangled in an interesting relationship, but her own feelings combined with others, result in a deadly concoction. Juliet is a brave young girl, defying social standards, while keeping her relationship together. Juliet has many expectations put to prevent her from blossoming. On page 48, Juliet says, “Not stepping o’er the bounds of modesty.” Juliet is playing a dual personality. On one side she is attempting to be this perfect child figure for her parents. On the other side, she is trying to be a teenager drawn in love. The reader is also able to get a sense of fear from Juliet, due to her parents iron fist. To bridge the gap between these two expectations we see the Nurse. The Nurse is able to understand what Juliet wants while not being bound by royalty. We are told in Act I, Scene III, that the Nurse’s child died on the day in which Juliet was born. This leads the reader to believe that the Nurse would raise Juliet, like she would her own child. This emotional connection allows Juliet to feel closer to the motherly figure of the Nurse. While under these expectations, Juliet needs to intellectualize her relationships. Lady Capulet was never close with Juliet and she only tells her what needs to be done. Lady Capulet expects her to marry Paris, while she disagrees. Juliet attempts to discuss the situation with her mother, but she continues to command Juliet. Juliet refuses again saying, “I will not marry yet and when I do I swear/ It

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