“My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me, That I must love a loathed enemy.” (1.5.137-140) Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy and romance of a forbidden young love between a Montague and a Capulet, written by William Shakespeare. Juliet is a fourteen year old girl and Capulet and Lady Capulet’s only child. Ever since Juliet was born, she has been very obedient, compliant, and never defies her parents. Not until she met Romeo, a Montague. Her love for Romeo has lead her to womanhood, which her parents are insupportable of, especially Capulet. Juliet no longers abides by her father’s demands for her to marry Paris, and she has chosen to make some sacrifices just to be with her love of her life. Unlike in the beginning when she was compliant and obedient, Juliet Capulet develops into a courageous, independent, and disciplined woman.
Juliet is only fourteen but she has already grown into a courageous woman. Lady Capulet comes to tell Juliet her father’s plan for her, and she was not too happy about it. “I pray you tell my lord and father, madam, I will not marry yet, and when I do, I swear It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, Rather than Paris.” (3.5.120-123) As the patriarch of the family, Capulet expects his daughter to accept his orders without any second thoughts or hesitancy. Juliet refusing was the last thing he thought of her ever doing.
As a father, Capulet’s duty was to find a perfect man for Juliet. Paris is wealthy, has a good reputation, elegant, and he genuinely loves Juliet. It was an insult for Capulet when his daughter was not grateful of his decision and rather rejected it without considering what he was doing for her. Juliet comes to talk to Friar Lawrence for help. “O bid me leap, rather than marry Paris, From off the battlements of any tower, or walk in thievish ways..” (4.1. 77-79) She chooses death over marrying Paris, who she does not love. She follows her intuition and listens to Friar Lawrence’s perilous plan. Juliet did not want her parents to disown her, so she rather “erase” herself from their lives completely.
Despite all the hatred and opposition towards their love, she does not let her father, mother, or anyone in Verona stop her from loving Romeo. She chose Romeo over her parents, which was an uneasy decision to make. She stands up for what she believes in, and she believes that she can never love anyone as much as she loves Romeo. Juliet’s love for Romeo has really impacted her in a way where she can be more confident of herself and her decisions. Her courage made it possible for her to be with someone whom she desired, however, she had to overcome consequences and tough decisions along the way.
Juliet’s thoughtfulness created a wise individual of herself. Her way of thinking involves considering the present and future. Romeo lurks in the Capulet’s orchard to see Juliet, and she was stunned to find him under her balcony. “And the place death, considering who thou art, if any of my kinsmen find thee here.” (2.2.64-65) Juliet was concerned for his life, whereas Romeo, he claims he is invulnerable and that no one will ever find him there. In this part of the play, Romeo is selfish for invading her private thoughts, yet Juliet does not scold him for it and rather thought about the dangerous situation they were in.
The night before her wedding with Paris, Juliet is supposed to drink the poison that the Friar gave her. “What if this mixture do not work at all? Shall I be married that tomorrow morning?” (4.3.21-22) Juliet is certain about drinking the poison and escaping the wedding, however, her anxious thoughts still overcame her. She is aware that there is no other choice, but she can not help overthink the possible consequences that the poison can do to her. Juliet’s way of thinking has made her create wise choices and decisions. She does not focus on the choice or decision alone, she considers the possible outcomes.
Juliet is not only courageous and thoughtful, but she is also disciplined. Romeo is at the Capulet’s orchard very late on a Sunday night and talks about their love for eachother. “Or if thou think’st I am to quickly won, I’ll from and be perverse, and say thee nay. So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.” (2.2.95-97) Juliet is at the weaker side of this conversation since Romeo overheard her most private thoughts, however, she controlled herself and lets Romeo know what she does not want him to think after what she has said. She knows her worth and what she wants in love, marriage, and life. She does not want Romeo to find out her preferences in love later, so she lets him know now. Nurse tells Juliet that Romeo is banished for killing her cousin, Tybalt. “O find him! Give this ring to my true knight, and bid him come to take his last fare well.” (3.3.142-143) In this part of the play, Juliet is sensible and has the strongest mind. Instead of curling up into a ball, whining, and crying for what has has happened, she keeps her emotions to herself and knows exactly what she should do at that moment. Despite the fact that Romeo killed her cousin, she is determined to remain loyal to her husband.
Juliet has been the only character in the play to change drastically from a girl into a woman. She went through all that complications and tough situations just to see Romeo dead in front of her, so she saw no point in living anymore and ended hers to be with her husband. She was very heroic to keep a dangerous and secretive relationship with Romeo, defy her parents by also making sacrifices, and participating in Friar Lawrence’s risky plan. For all the craziness and all the tragic events that has happened in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet has been the only one with the strongest mind and soul. She could have prospered in life if she has not terminated it.