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“Romeo and Juliet” and Act 4 Scene 1 of “Much Ado About Nothing” Essay

In this essay I will focus on the relationships between father and daughter in both Romeo and Juliet and also Much Ado About Nothing. As in both R&J and Much Ado both father and daughter were in a family conflict on the same debate of romance. I will focus on the 4 different aspects on about both of these plays such as the social and historical influences on display in the scene, the cultural & historical traditions, the effects of character & actors and finally the layers of meaning, idea’s and themes. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy as the two star crossed lovers die in order to for the Capulet’s and Montague’s reunite and put an end to being enemies towards each other.

On the other hand Much Ado About Nothing is a romantic comedy, whilst this genre does generally contain a potentially disastrous conflict which threatens harm to the characters, the conflict is resolved by the end and all ends happily so this conflict is much more minor than the conflict in Romeo and Juliet. In both plays the girl’s conflict with their fathers comes as the central crisis point of the play Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 5, Much Ado About Nothing Act 4 Scene 1. It is the key moment of crisis in each play after which they both head in very different directions. Lady Capulet proposes that her daughter has a “Careful father” which exposes things like how Lady Capulet expresses the feelings that she is supposedly to have towards her daughter and her husband.

Instantly the audience senses that Lady Capulet may entirely be terrified of her husband although it isn’t actually shown in the play. Most parents ask their daughters/son to get to know the person who they could marry, however Lord Capulet demands that Juliet marries Paris and also if she disobeys her father’s orders than Lord Capulet would disown her. On the other hand Lord Capulet has gone behind his daughters wishes and consent by securing the marriage with Paris. Shakespeare doesn’t conclude this so he infests a seed into Juliet’s mind. Shakespeare does this by emphasising Lord Capulet’s reaction when Juliet disagrees to follow his rules.

Juliet understands that both her parents are in this “deal” with Paris therefore this has to play in favour for her father. Juliet immediately introduces the idea that her father isn’t doing this for his daughters well being but he is only doing this for his own benefit. However “culturally” this is Lady Capulet’s job to make sure her daughter marries Paris, this is because she is the wife and also the mother of her 13 year old daughter. The audience comprehends that culturally and socially this would be outrageous for her to do so. Shakespeare cunningly makes Lady Capulet distant herself in such a way that nobody notices apart from the audience. This backs Juliet into a corner where she than decides what she has to do next. In this case she patently decides to fool everyone into thinking that she has died a horrible death.


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