Juliet

Juliet’s development throughout the play

Juliet is the female protagonist of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. As regards her outer characterization, she is the only daughter of Lord Capulet of Verona, which means she is a noblewoman. According to Romeo, she is very beautiful. Like him, we hear of Juliet before meeting her ourselves. In Act 1, Scene 2, her father says that “she hath not seen the change of fourteen years” (1.2.9), which means that she is just 13. This may seem extremely young to modern readers, but during the Elizabethan era the legal age of marriage for women was 12, so Juliet is old enough to marry. 

Juliet’s inner characterization is very interesting since she goes through a great development throughout the play. We first meet her in Act 1, Scene 3 when her mother informs her that she may be married to the good-looking Count Paris. Juliet shows no enthusiasm but replies like a dutiful daughter: “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move./ But no more deep will I endart mine eye/ Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.” (1.3.90-92) She is saying that she will do her best to like Paris but only to the extent her mother wi...

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