Juliet's Relationship with Her Mother at the Start of the Play. Essay

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. What is Juliet’s relationship with her mother like at the beginning of the play? Consider the purpose of her conversation throughout, to what extent she knows her daughter and her views on love (look carefully at the form of Lady Capulet’s speech about Paris – it is very much like a sonnet. Think about why she might talk about him in this way) In Act 1, scene 3 the relationship between Lady Capulet and Juliet is a typical Elizabethan family relationship between a mother and daughter. Juliet is being a dutiful child by formally speaking to her mother at all times, such as when the Nurse calls her and she addresses Lady Capulet as ‘Madam’. This is a contrast to Juliet’s relationship with the Nurse, who is more of a mother to her than Lady Capulet. It is obvious that they have a close bond as the Nurse uses many terms of endearment like ‘What, lamb! What, ladybird!’ when she is calling Juliet. The conversation between Juliet and her mother is stilted and proper, whereas the Nurse is very open with her opinions, advice, and feelings with Juliet. When talking about Paris, she talks like a schoolgirl gossiping about Paris' looks: ‘A man, young lady! Lady, such a man as all the world--why, he's a man of wax.’ This shows that Juliet trusts the Nurse a lot more than Lady Capulet and she can be more open with her. It is as if Juliet treats Lady Capulet as a distant figure she has been taught to respect rather than having a close bond with her which is what people expect of mothers. The fact that Lady Capulet first speaks to the Nurse and asks her to call Juliet instead of finding her herself enforces that they have a distant, formal relationship. She is only Juliet’s mother biologically and has never had any personal involvement, she only tells her daughter what to do and because of this she never considers Juliet’ feelings, only the impact it will have on the Capulet’s

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