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Romeo and Juliet Character Sketch – Juliet Essay

Juliet Capulet is one of the main characters in Romeo and Juliet, a famous play written by Shakespeare. Juliet is a beautiful, young 13 year old girl. Despite her age, she is pressured from the very beginning of the play to get married, preferably to a young nobleman named Paris who is a relative of the Prince of Verona. During the opening scenes of the play, Juliet seems to be an obedient and naïve child who always obeys her parents’ wishes. However, throughout the play we see Juliet’s sense of independence develop when she makes the outrageous decision to marry Romeo behind her parents backs, and fake her own death. She evolves into someone who is capable of making their own decisions; however her actions are also defiant and rebellious.

Juliet is a 13 year old teenager, who will be 14 years old on July 31st, also known as Lammas Eve. I imagine that due to her young age and wealthy family that Juliet is a very small, dainty, well-kept and polished teenaged girl. Juliet’s appearance is not described in detail in the play, however in Romeos soliloquy at the beginning of Act 2, Scene 2, he describes Juliet as bright when he says “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun”. Referring to her as the sun is a metaphor for her being bright. He gets more in depth and describes her as a “fair sun” in line 4. Therefore, I imagine she has pale, white skin. Romeo also says in Act 2, scene 2 “The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars” which proves that she has pink rosy cheeks. Romeos soliloquy in Act 2, scene 2 proves what a beautiful, bright, and fair young girl Juliet is. However, don’t be fooled by her dainty appearance; Juliet’s actions throughout the play would paint a different, more mischievous picture of her in your mind.

Juliet’s actions change quite drastically throughout the play. At the beginning of Romeo and Juliet, Juliet seems to be a very obedient teenager who follows her parents orders and does not stand up for what she really wants. For example, in Act 1, scene 3, Lady Capulet asks Juliet “Can you like of Paris’ love?” Juliet is quick to agree with her mother by saying: “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move”. This proves that Juliet is naively obedient, and will do as her parents say even if what they want for her is not what she wants. Juliet has given no thought to the idea of marriage, especially to Paris since she is only 13 years old and does not know him, yet she follows her parent’s orders to give him a chance. However, after Juliet meets Romeo at the ball, her obedience and loyalty to her family dwindles away. Juliet begins to disobey her family, and evolves into someone who can make their own decisions, whether they are good or bad.

She falls in love with Romeo; a Montague, a member of the Capulet’s feuding family. She makes plans to marry him the day after she meets him without telling her parents and they spend their wedding night together in her room at the Capulet mansion. This shows that she is rebelling against her parents by marrying someone from the feuding family, and someone who is not Paris. Furthermore, Juliet makes another defiant decision towards the end of the play. When Lady Capulet tells Juliet about her wedding arrangements with Paris in Act 3, scene 5, Juliet adamantly and angrily refuses the proposal by yelling “He shall not make me there a joyful bride.”

Shortly after Juliet’s argument with her mother and father about the wedding, the nurse suggests that Juliet marry Paris to please her parents. Juliet does not take the nurses advice and responds with “I’ll to the friar, to know his remedy; if all else fail, myself have power to die.” Juliet takes matters into her own hands and is finally standing up for what she wants. She is not letting her parents or even the nurse influence her decisions anymore. All of these actions show Juliet’s maturity, and growing sense of independence, but also her new defiant, disobedient ways.

Juliet is quite a courageous, passionate, and dramatic person. Throughout the play, Juliet deals with emotional situations quite dramatically and is quick to make drastic decisions on impulse. For example, the second Juliet lays eyes on Romeo, and in their next few encounters, she is so very passionate about how she feels about him. In Act 2, scene 2, she expresses how much she loves him, which may seem overly dramatic since she barely knows him. Juliet makes the impulsive decision to marry Romeo, without really thinking it through which shows how quick she is to make drastic decisions. Juliet makes an extremely courageous and very risky decision in Act 4, scene 3. She decides to take the poison Friar Laurence made for her which will knock her unconscious for 42 hours, despite all of her worries about it not working or possibly killing her.

She takes the poison because she is so passionate about being with Romeo that she would do anything, even fake her death in order to be free of her family and able to leave Verona to be with him. Despite Juliet’s young age, she is truly a brave and passionate girl who does not let anything stop her from getting what she wants. Furthermore, one of the major events of the play takes place in Act 5, scene 3 when Juliet stabs herself with a dagger after waking up to find Romeo lying dead beside her. Juliet makes the drastic decision to end her own life after finding Romeo dead. This shows her fast decision making skills, and also her passion and love for Romeo. She did not kill herself out of weakness from what she had just seen, but because she would not feel right living without the man that she loves so deeply. Killing yourself out of passion for another human being shows extreme courage and bravery which Juliet has plenty of.

Although Juliet is portrayed as a naïve 13 year old girl at the beginning of the play, Shakespeare made it a very prominent part of Romeo and Juliet to show how Juliet evolves into an independent, brave and passionate young woman. She begins to rebel like most teenagers do and defies her parents, but nonetheless she did it to stand up for what she wants and believes in and I think that shows extreme courage, bravery, and independence.


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