During this talk I will discuss the ideas of parent children relationships and the times when the children reach a certain age group 11-18. During this age group the relationship between the parent and child can sometimes change. In some situations the relationship can continue from both parties to be loving and caring however conflict can occur, here in the 21st century this is normally because of the things in the world that children at that age become aware of, these are: alcohol, drugs and boys which in a lot of situations lead to sex. But this relationship can also involve small things like messy bedrooms and schoolwork. As I mentioned these things all cause a problem for us in the 21st centaury however in Elizabethan times this was less likely to occur this is because during the Elizabethan era a woman was the property of her father until she was given to her new master, her husband.
Her father decided the course of a young woman’s life and then later that decision-making process was passed to her husband. Women moved from their father’s home straight into the role of wife and had little choice but to accept that they lived in a male dominated society. The codes and conventions of patriarchal society meant that women had to play the role of the silent and obedient daughter or wife. But in some cases the daughter would not wish to be married to her father’ choice this was normally because she would have found her own love and wished to be with that person she finds worthy of her and not who her father finds worthy of her, this is normally the stage when the conflict would occur in Elizabethan times and the relationship between the parent then changes.
Shakespeare often features this type of relationships in his plays or the aspects of life at that time.
Based on the facts that this talk is about parent and children relationships in particularly I will be examining the relationship between Juliet and her parents.
The relationship between her mother and father is how a relationship would be expected, Juliet is obedient to her mother and father and answers to their orders when given. This seems to give the view that they have a healthy loving relationship of the time and care for each other just as much as any other child would.
In act 1 scene 2 Juliet’s father seems caring at first we know this information because Paris, a nobleman, endowed with all the qualities that would make him (in Juliet’s parent’s eyes) and ideal husband for Juliet. Asks Capulet (Juliet’s father) if he can marry Juliet. But when Juliet’s father suggests that she is too young.
“But saying o’er what I have said before:
My child is yet a stranger in the world,
She hath not seen the change of fourteen years;
Let two more summers wither in their pride,
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.”
This quote shows us that Capulet seems reluctant initially to arrange Juliet’s marriage despite the presence of a suitable husband, this suggesting she is still too young. This would be considered quite normal to arrange a marriage for a daughter as young as twelve, so Capulet is perhaps not so typical here.
Paris then chooses to argue that there are younger girls who are mothers.
“Younger than she are happy mothers made.”
Capulet then suggests that marrying too young can spoil young women.
“And too soon marr’d are those so early made.
Earth hath swallow’d all my hopes but she;
She’s the hopeful lady of my earth.”
This point in the play suggests that Capulet’s marriage may be an example of this.
Capulet then explains that it is Juliet’s choice to choose whom she wishes to marry; again Capulet appears to be the loving father. With no suggestions of forcing Juliet to marry as might have been expected in a patriarchal society.
“But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
And she agreed, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.”
Act 1 scene 3 Juliet’s mother seems distanced from her daughter (Juliet) we know this because when Juliet’s mother calls, Juliet obeys politely.
“Madam, I am here, what is your will?”
Juliet’s mother then calls the nurse away, but finding herself unable to talk to Juliet herself calls the nurse back again.
Julie’s nurse shows more affection towards her than towards her mother this is shown when the nurse starts to reminisces about the past.
“Even or odd, of all days in the year,
Come Lammas-eve at night shall she be fourteen.”
After does Juliet’s mother finally talk about marriage- the subject seems awkward and difficult for her. She mentions that she herself was married young.
“Well, think of marriage now; younger than you,
Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,
Are made already mothers. By my count,
I was your mother much upon these years
That you are now a maid. Thus then in brief:
The valiant Paris seeks you for his love.”
This comes across as if the marriage is not as happy as should be but puts a good face for Juliet. She explains the benefits of marrying Paris.
“What say you, can you love the gentleman?
This night you shall behold him at our feast;
Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face,
And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen;
Examine every married lineament,
And see how one another lends content;
And what obscur’d in this fair volume lies
Find written in the margent of his eyes.
This precious book of love, this unbound lover,
To beautify him, only lacks a cover.
The fish lives in the sea, and ’tis much pride
For fair without the fair within to hide;
That book in many’s eyes doth share the glory
That in gold clasps locks in the golden story;
So shall you share all that he doth possess,
By having him, making yourself no less.”
We can tell from this quote that money is her main consideration. This making us think maybe her own marriage was based on this consideration.
Juliet is now confused at this statement but once again shows she is willing to obey her mother.
In act2 scene 5 it is the nurse Juliet turns to for help and advice, we know this because Juliet waits impatiently for the nurse’s return from Romeo.
“The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;
In half an hour she promis’d to return.”
The nurse then teases her when she arrives.
“Jesu, what haste! Can you not stay a while?
Do you not see that I am out of breath?”
This shows a good-natured relationship, more like a mother and friend together than Juliet’s mother is to her. As the nurse is very excited about the marriage she willingly helps her.
At act 3 scene 4 Capulet apparently contradicts himself by arranging the marriage with Paris as he feels it would help make Juliet get over Tybalts death. Capulet and Lady Capulet then arrange to speak to Juliet about marriage. But while speaking Capulet decides to arrange the marriage even after Juliet’s wishes not to marry Paris, he says she’ll do what he tells her to do. Compared with act 1 scene 2 we see Capulet being like a typical father in a patriarchal society instead of looking out for Juliet’s feelings as he had before.