In this essay I am going to write about “Romeo and Juliet” written by William Shakespeare, the famous playwright. The plot is quite simple and easy to follow Romeo Montague falls in love and secretly marries Juliet Capulet; the Capulets and Montagues are rival families. Juliet’s father had already pre-arranged her marriage to Count Paris, her Nurse knew of her marriage to Romeo and planned with the Priest to allow them to be together, but they both end up dying in a tragic misunderstanding. I am exploring the relationships between parents and children and how voices are presented in Romeo and Juliet and in three other poems by Blake and Jonson which are both about parent and child relationships.
Romeo and Juliet open with a fight scene between the Montagues and the Capulets. We then witness Romeo’s parents and Benvolio, his cousin, showing their concern and worry for Romeo. Lady Montague is a caring mother; we can see this by the way she asks two quick fire questions, one after the other ‘where is Romeo? Saw you him to-day?’ she is anxious to find out that he wasn’t involved showing her care and concern for him. ‘Right glad I was he wasn’t at this fray.’ She is relieved to find out that he wasn’t involved this shows a strong relationship between her and her son. Lord Montague, his father, also comes across as a very loving concerned parent in this scene. “With tears augmenting the fresh morning dew” He is comparing his tears to dew, using strong poetic language he shows that he is upset that his son is so unhappy. He uses a second metaphor also related to nature ‘adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs. ‘His father’s use of exaggeration shows how much his son’s unhappiness is affecting him, comparing his sighs to clouds is like saying his sighs are constant and everywhere just like dew there every day and everywhere. His use of the adjective in the line “away from light steals my heavy son” heavy makes us think he is getting weighed down, that he was a lot of problems on his shoulders and we see Lord Montague is worried about his son and that there is clearly a strong relationship.
At the beginning of act 1 scene 2, we form our first impressions of Capulet as a father when Paris requests Juliet’s hand in marriage. It would appear in this scene that Capulet is a loving father, much like Montague as they are their ‘only’ children and their parents are both naturally protective of them Juliet’s especially. In Elizabethan times when the play was written, it was the job of the father to give away the daughter as if she was his property. But rather than just giving his daughter to Paris, a young nobleman, he tells him, ‘my child is yet a stranger in this world.’ He uses this metaphor to emphasise his daughter’s innocence ‘Ere we may think her ripe to be bride’ he is repeating his point, that she is too young and not ready. As we realise that his other children have passed away, we see why he is so protective because she is his only daughter and his future, and whilst he wants her to marry a fine man, he doesn’t want her to grow up. It would appear he has her best interests at heart ‘and she agreed... according voice.’ He wants her to be happy and agree to marry Paris, not being forced into it. The way Capulet handles the situation with Paris shows the love and kindness he feels for his daughter. Capulet allows Juliet to decide if she wants to marry this man. This wouldn’t have happened very often in Elizabethan times as the richer families often married for wealth not love and here Capulet is asking, not telling, Juliet to marry this wealthy man. He doesn’t treat her as a piece of furniture and wants her to be happy with the person she marries, ‘She is the hopeful lady of my earth’ Capulet has lost his previous children and only wants the best for his only daughter. But by using this metaphor it’s like she is a fruit and his belonging, from this we can infer that