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Romeo and Juliet - Forbidden Love

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Forbidden Love

To be or not to be (the cause of Romeo and Juliets tragic death), that is the question. The theme of William Shakespeare's tragedy Romeo and Juliet is forbidden love. Love between Romeo and Juliet is forbidden for two primary reasons, the Capulet-Montague family feud, and the fact that Juliet is destined to enter into an arranged marriage. Because Sir Capulet is the patriarch of the Capulet family, he is responsible for the ongoing and escalating Caplulet-Montague feud and responsible for selecting a husband and arranging a marriage for Juliet. Therefore, Capulet is to blame for the tragic end of the play. The series of events that lead to the tragic death of Romeo and Juliet starts with the Capulet-Montague family feud escalating, Juliet discovering that her destiny is to be in an arranged marriage, and finally Sir Capulets ultimatum that Juliet marry Paris that Thursday.

There is an ongoing family feud between the Montague and Capulet families. Capulet, the patriarch of the Capulet family, is ultimately responsible for continuing and recently escalating the family feud and consequently, causing the love between Romeo and Juliet to be "forbidden". Without the family feud, love between Romeo and Juliet would not be forbidden and there would not be a story to tell. Romeo and Juliet are both from important families and if not for the feud, they could marry and live happily ever after. Their love, however, is forbidden because of the family feud. The first act in the play reveals the dispute when Capulet discovers a fight between Capulet and Montague servants. Rather than order his men to stop fighting and possibly end the long family feud, Capulet asks for his sword and escalates the feud. "What noise is this? Give me my long sword, ho! "(I.i.76) In scene 2 after the fight, we learn that Paris has asked Sir Capulet if he can marry Juliet. Although Sir Capulet initially says that he thinks Juliet is too young to marry, he indicates that he is interested in an arranged marriage and gives Paris permission to pursue Juliet. "And too soon marred are those so early made. Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she. She's the hopeful lady of my earth. But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart. My will to her consent is but a part. An she agreed within her scope of choice, lies my consent and fair according voice." (II.ii.13-19) It becomes apparent that Sir Capulet is planning to have Juliet marry Paris because in the next scene, Lady Capulet approaches Juliet with the idea of marrying Paris. Sir Capulet must have told Lady Capulet of his intent and asked her to reveal the plan to Juliet.

Juliet is a young girl and not interested in marriage. We learn this when Lady Capulet approaches Juliet with the idea of marriage. "Marry, that "marry" is the very theme I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your disposition to be married?" (I.iii.65-67) Juliets indicates that she has no interest in marriage when she says "It is an honor that I do not dream of." (I.iii.68) It is during this conversation that Juliet also discovers that her parents plan to enter her into an arranged marriage and Paris has been identified as husband when Lady Capulet says "Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you here in Verona, ladies of esteem are made already mothers.



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