romeo & juliet themes ~family

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  • Romeo & Juliet Themes - Family -
    • "Two households, both alike in dignity."-prologue,This shows that the two families are similar. The use of the word "dignity" highlights how the families have similar principles and status in the city of Verona.
    • During the 16th century many families married for money, not love.
      • parents arranged a marriage with someone rich and powerful as a way of gaining money or power.
    • Children did not get a say in who they thought they should marry- they had to do as they were told- they had no choice.
      • The capulet's family structure was normal for what was expected in shakespeare's time.
    • during the 16th centuary it was common for the husband to be in control of his daughter and wife, so capulet can tell Juliet to marry whoever he wants her too
      • Women were seen as property in the Elizabethan society especially for a family of upper class (like the capulets)
    • Juliet's position in her family restricts her-  as she is young and unmarried she cant be in public alone or leave without permission.
      • Juliet struggles to make both herself and her parents happy.
    • the audience would be able to relate to Juliet's position within her family because many of them would have experienced the same conflict between duty and personal happiness
    • Romeo and Juliets love conflicts with the family feud
    • Because their families are enemies it would never be allowed for them to get married with their blessing.
    • The contrast between the violent conflict and their love makes their love seem even more passionate.- the harder it is for them to be together, the more they fight to be together.
    • Family and marriage are supposed to be a positive subject however Shakespeare shows that strong feelings of love and honour can lead to conflict
    • Juliets relationship with her mother is extremely formal- her nurse is more of a mother towards Juliet than lady capulet.
  • The nurse was Juliets wet nurse which means that she breast fed her this shows that they have a special connection- Juliet trusts the nurse so much that she told her about her love for romeo however she did not tell her mother.
    • Many upper class families had nurses for their children.
      • "Thou wast the prettiest babe that e'er I nursed. An I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish."- nurse


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