Both Romeo and Juliet obtain much growth throughout the play Romeoand Juliet. There are many different kinds of growth, whether physical,emotional etc. Yet Juliet obtains the most growth that is significant tothe play. The play is about many new experiences occurring to a familythat is used to old, die-hard violence, therefore experiential growth ismost important. Juliet is the central protagonist of the play because sheobtains more experiential growth than Romeo does. Juliet obtains the most growth mentally because she is a thirteen-year-old girl who has not yet escaped the protective wall of her family,unlike Romeo, who is already a free-minded roamer in a sense.
For example,Lady Capulet says, “Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you, here inVerona, ladies of esteem, are already made mothers. ” (I iii 75-77) This isshowing that the mother is forcing the issue of marriage upon Juliet whenshe is only thirteen. Also, Capulet says, “Doth she not give us thanks?Is she not proud?” (III iiiii 147-148) This shows that Juliet has grownmentally, or has started making decisions on her own, since Capulet isangry with her for refusing Paris.
Juliet also gains more growth than Romeo does physically. Most malesin that time have much uncontrolled sexual activity. An example is whenSampson says, “I will. . . thrust his maids to the wall.
” Romeo, being maleand a few years above puberty, has experience already with sexual activity,(not sex, just activity) Juliet is completely new at the entire concept,just having reached puberty. Also, Romeo has had physical feelings forother girls before. For example, he says, “Show me a mistress that haspassing fare;” (I i 243) Here he has already fallen in love with Rosalynand is soon to find Juliet. Juliet had not experienced physical attractionthat we know of before Romeo. Juliet has also gained more spiritual growth than Romeo has spiritualhaving to do with religion, good or bad.
Neither Romeo nor Juliet seemedto be devoutly religious in the beginning, yet the closer to the end of theplay, the more spiritual Juliet becomes. For example, Juliet says “Whatdevil art thou that dost torment me thus? This torture should be roared indismal hell. ” (III ii 49-50) Now this may not be very good spiritually,yet Juliet has gained a little non-holy spunk after meeting Romeo. Also,when the Friar says, “Come.
I’ll dispose of thee among a sisterhood ofholy nuns. Stay not to question for the watch is coming. ” (V iii 161-163)Juliet responds negatively, refusing to become a nun. This is a spiritualdecision made by Juliet.
While both Romeo and Juliet gain much growth, Juliet gains moreexperiential growth, which is more relative to the play. Since a centralprotagonist is the character that gains the most growth, and Juliet gainsthe most experiential growth, Juliet is the protagonist of the play.