Romeo and Juliet

Ambiguous Portrayal of Juliet's Womanhood College

In Act 4 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet, Friar Lawrence, Paris, and Juliet converse about the upcoming marriage of Juliet and Paris. In the scene, Juliet’s new identity of an independent woman is forged through her vigor in dealing with Paris and the Friar proving her strengths in men’s domains. However in both conversations her strength as a woman comes into question. The Friar places her into a category, while her conversation with Paris reveals her newfound dynamism springs not from her own dissatisfaction with her place in the familial structure, but from the love of Romeo. He, a man, generates her questioning of her dutiful daughter persona. So as she exits her role in the Capulets, she simultaneously enters another as a doting wife willing to enter any circumstance for her husband. Although a strong woman, Juliet’s interactions with men throughout this scene demonstrate that she remains uncertain in her place in society.

This scene cements Juliet’s transformation from doting daughter into a formidable woman. Before an acquiescent character, now she becomes bold and fiery. After Paris has exited, she begins to list circumstances that are more desirable than a marriage to him: a leap from a tower, being chained with roaring...

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