The play Romeo and Juliet is a romantic drama set in Verona, Italy in the 15th century. Romeo and Juliet are the children of two very wealthy families, the Capulets and the Montagues. However there is known hatred between these two families, that have been feuding for many years and are infamous for their vicious fights. At the time the play was set, women did not have a particularly significant role in society and it was custom for the young daughters of wealthy families to be married off, and even have children by the age of thirteen or fourteen.
In Act 1 Scene two, there is an important conversation between Capulet and the young County Paris. Paris puts forward the idea of marrying Juliet to her father, however Capulet does not seem to want Juliet to leave his household yet and would rather wait until she was completely ready and happy with the idea of marriage. ”And too soon marred are those so early made, earth has swallowed all my hopes but she. ” This shows that there is clearly a strong relationship between Capulet and his daughter. At the start of the play we see a modest, respectful young Juliet.Order now
The actress playing Juliet could portray this by actually emphasizing on how Juliet seems eager to please her mother by actions such as, always looking presentable when standing before Lady Capulet and the way Juliet holds herself. The actress could also think about what tone of voice Juliet would use when talking to her mother, the nurse or Capulet. Such as a quiet and soft tone when speaking to her mother or father, and a more relaxed and louder tone of voice when speaking to the nurse. The contrast of these two tones of voice should also emphasize the relationship between the nurse and Juliet.
In Act one scene three there is also a conversation between Lady Capulet and the nurse which really shows the close relationship formed much earlier between Juliet and her Nurse. Lady Capulet does not know when Juliet’s birthdate is and the nurse has to inform her of the actual date. “She is not fourteen. How long is it now” to which the nurse replies “come Lammas eve at night shall she be fourteenâ€¦I remember it well. ” Lady Capulet feels embarrassed seems to shy off, whilst the burse and Juliet happily continue talking.
A director could focus here, on the physical closeness of Juliet and her nurse i. e. Juliet could be sitting on the nurse’s lap whilst Lady Capulet stands shyly in the corner of the room, emphasizing on their close bond and the distance between mother and daughter. During the first few scenes of the play Juliet is relatively quiet, especially when her mother is talking and only replies to her when she asks her a question, so it is not until much later on in the play that we can get a more rounded view of Juliet.
Lady Capulet brings up the topic of marriage quite quickly in the play, but the now meek and timid Juliet simply replies to her mother’s suggestion, “Oh, it is an honour I dream not of. ” Here the actress could really make it seem that Juliet is being sincere in what she is saying and those are her actual feelings towards the matter. Moreover, by doing this it would also show later on in the play the impact that Romeo has on Juliet and her sudden development and maturity, as she decides to marry Romeo almost straight away.
The actress could do this by acting completely surprised and almost shocked by her mother’s suggestion which would furthermore accentuate the shy and reserved Juliet at the opening of the play. Another form of which the actress could expose this meek Juliet could be by, concentrating on the way of which Juliet holds herself and the positioning between her and other characters of the play, to make the relationships clearer. For example, When Juliet is talking to her mother, the actress could stand slightly bowed and not constantly looking directly into Lady Capulet’s eyes, showing respect and fear.
She could also position Juliet with a slight distance between her and Lady Capulet, exposing the physical and emotional detachment in their relationship. However when Juliet is around the nurse, the actress could act much more relaxed and comfortable around her, and even show physical closeness between them to emphasize on their strong and close bond. This would also be useful for later on in the play as it would show the contrast between how the relationship of the nurse and Juliet change after Romeo becomes a part of Juliet’s life.
It is in Act two scene 2 that we first start to see signs of Juliet maturing and developing. In the previous scene of the play, we have just seen Juliet and Romeo meet for the first time, and how Juliet kisses someone for the first time, and the instant bond between her and Romeo that is formed. Now in scene two of act two, after Juliet has discovered that Romeo is a Montague her sworn enemy, she disregards this fact and chooses to love him over all the risks and consequences she could face.
This shows development and new found maturity because the once shy young girl who was frightened at the thought of marriage, is now willing to risk everything to be with someone she hardly knows. The actress could show this development by emphasizing on how strongly Juliet feels towards Romeo and how quickly she is making key decisions such as even proposing the idea of marriage to Romeo. “Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow. Juliet also shows maturity when Romeo swears his love by the moon, she replies “swear not by the moon, th’inconstant moon, that monthly changes â€¦lest that thy love prove likewise variable. ” When Juliet says this to Romeo, the actress could make Juliet sound certain that marriage is exactly what she desires and that she knows exactly what she wants, which would further increase the emphasis on character development and maturity. Further on in Act two, Juliet even seems more sure of herself and what she wants than Romeo does. She is in control of the relationship and