William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet Essay

1621 words - 7 pages

Micheal Jordan famously wrote “If you accept the expectations of others then you never will change the outcome” (Jordan). One can appreciate the context of the quote when relating it to one of William Shakespeare’s greatest work, “Romeo and Juliet”, in which two long-feuding families finally end their strife after their children defy the societal expectations, and consequently take their lives away. The two lovers struggle to live up to the expectations society demands from them, which oppose the existence of their love. For example, the audience sees Juliet challenge her family’s expectations in order to protect her relationship with her true love, Romeo. Additionally, both Romeo and Juliet challenge their gender roles in order to love freely without any opposition from society. Also, as the love between the two intensify, both Romeo and Juliet struggle to abide to the social expectations of their Christian faith. In a nutshell, one of William Shakespeare’s most celebrated plays, “Romeo and Juliet”, is about how two lovers choose to defy the social expectations demanded by their society in an attempt to create an environment where the “true love” they possess can exist.
To begin, Juliet challenges her family expectations in favour of living a life where she can express her love to Romeo, who is her family’s enemy, freely. For example, as Romeo and Juliet speak with each other on the balcony, she states “Deny thy father and refuse thy name; or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet” (II, ii, 100-102). Juliet understands society will not allow her to be with Romeo, a Montague, because he is the family’s (Capulet’s) enemy. But due to her intense love toward Romeo, she is ready to give up her family name and heritage just to be with him. Juliet flaunts the social conventions of family expectations by giving up her family name and heritage for love’s sake. She also flaunts social conventions because she prefers to love Romeo over living up to her family’s expectations. Furthermore, as Lady Capulet informs her daughter, Juliet, that she will be marrying Paris on Thursday, Juliet replies “ I will not marry yet, and when I do, I swear it shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, rather than Paris” (Citation MLA). As a woman, Juliet is expected to obey her parents’ orders, even if she disagrees with them. Juliet is independent and doesn’t give into her parents’ orders easily or immediately, and by doing so she defies the social expectations of family. She wants to make decisions for herself, a choice strictly forbidden by society during the Elizabethan era. Juliet challenges social expectations of family by refusing to give into her parents order. She defies her parents decision because she loves Romeo. Finally, when the nurse accidently curses Romeo for killing Tybalt, Juliet replies “Blistered by thy tongue for such a wish! He was not born to shame. Upon his brow shame is ashamed to sit for ‘tis where honor may be crowned...

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