In Veronan society, there are many dysfunctional and unstable relationships. The play “Romeo and Juliet” written by William Shakespeare in the 1500’s is about young love and the various relationships between families, friends, and love interests. The play exploits the complexity of a relationships and all the difficulties that can occur between people who are close to each other emotionally. Romeo and Juliet demonstrates that traditions of Veronan society contribute to the ignorance and confusion that leads to tragedy in a relationship.
Juliet has numerous issues within her family that cause her trouble maintaining a healthy relationship with them. In Verona, children are not commonly raised by their parents, but by a servant or nurse hired by their parents to care for them. Therefore, Juliet doesn’t actually know her parents very well, and they don’t know her. When Juliet begins to act more independently and make her own choices, her father is upset that she is defying him and no longer acting under his rule. “Wife, we scarce thought us blest
That God had lent us but this only child;
But now I see this one is one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her.
Out on her, hilding!” (3, 5, 165)
This quote comes from Capulet, showing his fury and anger with his daughter Juliet when she refuses to marry young Paris, the man her father promised her too. If Capulet had a closer relationship with his daughter he would know that she didn’t want to marry Paris, but due to tradition and the patterns of veronan society he is obligated to find his daughter a husband.
Juliet was not raised by her parents, but by a nurse who works for her family. Juliet has a very meaningful and emotional connection with the nurse. She is much closer to the her than she is to either of her parents. Therefore when Juliet gets married to Romeo secretly, the nurse is the only one she tells about the relationship. “Hie you to church; I must another way,
To fetch a ladder, by the which your love
Must climb a bird’s nest soon when it is dark.
I am the drudge and toil in your delight,” (2, 5, 72)
The nurse is happy for Juliet and her relationship with Romeo. She wants to help them to maintain the relationship in secret, and does so numerous ways. She fetches a ladder so Romeo can climb up the balcony. “I’ll find Romeo/ To comfort you; I wot well where he is.” (3, 2, 138). She also comforts Juliet and promises to find Romeo so she can see him when he gets banished. This type of relationship between children and nurses is typical in the lifestyle they live in, it is tradition.
Juliet and Romeo’s relationship is another good example of the suffering that tradition can cause two people who aren’t familiar with one and other. Romeo and Juliet fall in love and practically get married as soon as they meet, without getting to know each other first. Despite that, Juliet is not permitted to choose her own partner. Veronan traditions dictate that her father is the one who has the final say in who she is to marry and when and where the wedding is to take place. This tradition demonstrates why so many relationships in Verona end in tragedy and woe. “The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.
Go hence to have The forced ways of Veronan society cause Romeo and Juliet to have to hide the love they have for each other, thus causing them both to end up dead. The traditions in Verona cause just as much strife and pain as they do order and peace.
The feud that is century’s old still lingerers between the Capulets and Montagues. The play never explains the feud or the reason for the rivalry between the families. “Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” (Prologue)
Once again, it is purely tradition that cannot be broken. The feud has been passed down through the families for ages to the point where both sides no longer know what they are upset over. The unhealthy relationship between the two families causes grief and pain in the city of Verona. “The fearful passage of their death-mark’d love,/ And the continuance of their parents’ rage.” If the families made up, Romeo and Juliet never would have died. The Capulet – Montague family feud is the cause of the largest tragedy in the play.
The city of Verona is based around tradition. From the fashion children are raised, to the way they get married; rules and regulations are put in place. These ways are the reason so much tragedy takes place in Verona. The ignorance and confusion present in so many situations and relationships is the cause. Romeo and Juliet were murdered by Veronan society. All the forced traditions caused the young teenagers to kill themselves in the name of love, and destroyed so many other meaningful relationships.
Courtney from Study Moose
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