- For Teachers
How does Juliet change?
Juliet’s balcony seen is incredibly passionate as she is truly expressing herself from the heart and telling all the world what she is feeling and not caring who hears, she sighs:
which is saying that she is sighing because she is in love. Juliet would be standing at her balcony which Romeo would be looking up at and then metaphorically compares with the sun
“what light through yonder window breaks”
but Juliet dominates the scene as she is higher than Romeo and is the main focus of the speech. She would also be looking straight at the people in the stalls. When Juliet acted this scene the balcony would be in the boxes where all the beautiful women of that region sat which showed that Romeo was faithful to her.
Juliet’s use of repetition tells us that she loves Romeo:
“O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?”
as she is saying his name longing for him or almost calling for him and the third time she says his name she realises that he is a Montague and that is her enemy. She is also using a rhetorical question and that indicates the end of the thought but asks a question in a question. And the exclamation mark explains how she is feeing emotional. I think the way Shakespeare uses punctuation to express feelings is outstanding. When Juliet says:
“Deny thy father and refuse thy name,”
“And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.”
She means that if he loves her he should deny his family for her love or if not she will deny her family until he merely says he loves her. Or another way of seeing it is that she will get married to him and become a Montague.
Her feelings have changed since the first scene as in scene 1 she hasn’t thought about marriage in the slightest bit. To when she meets Romeo at the ball she comes across as an expert on boys and that she knows all the rules of flirting -leading him on: “Ay pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.” which she is saying that Romeo should only use his lips for kissing shrines. She is teasing him. In this scene the lovers speak a sonnet to each other alternating verses and while in the previous scenes the nurse and other characters have all made an amazing speech now Romeo and Juliet are making one together. They both talk about courtly love in her and Romeos sonnet which would have been used in a lot of love poems during that period of time as it implies that you value and love your lover more than god. Which at that point nothing was as important as god in the 19th century.
Juliet comes across as very experienced and mature when she with Romeo: “you kiss by’ the book” , she is teasing him by saying that he kisses strictly by the rules one interpretation is that she is chiding him for his insufficient amount of amorous passionate kissing. Or another connotation could be that of the books she has read he kisses so passionately that she thinks she is in an love story(which she is).
Juliet doesn’t know Romeo other than his name, his family, what he looks like. but she would be able to recognise his sweet tender voice:
“My ears have not yet drunk a hundred words Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound”
But yet Shakespeare makes it seem like they have know each other for their whole lifetime.
Her feelings have changed through the course of this scene as when she is telling the world what she thinks of Romeo:
“How camest thou hither, tell me, and wherefore?”
She is shocked. However, she is worried for Romeo as if any of her relatives find Romeo they are bound to kill him.
“If they do see thee they will murder thee.”
She is very shocked that he is here but then her mood changes again almost instantly to being extremely embarrassed that he has heard her say all of these things.
“Thou know'st the mask of night is on my face, Else would a maiden blush bepaint my cheek For that which thou hast heard me speak tonight.”
She is saying that Romeo can’t see because it is dark outside but she is blushing (like a virgin) about the things she has said tonight.
When Romeo declares his love for Juliet , Juliet is full of joy that he feels the same way as her but she asks him to pronounce that if she really loves him and not to assume that because she fell in love with him so easily that her love for him is not serious;
“And not impute this yielding to light love, Which the dark night hath so discovered.”
When Romeo starts to swear his love for by the moon she suddenly become worried:
“O, swear not by the moon, th' inconstant moon, That monthly changes in her circle orb,”
Which means swear not by the moon as it changes continuously in the sky its position shifts.
She then decides after Romeo has sworn his love that this is all too sudden:
“It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,”
And she is scared that Romeo will not feel the same way as he does now, tomorrow:
“Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be Ere one can say “It lightens.”
Which means that it is too much like lightning it is there and gone before you can say that it is lightning.
Juliet uses the metaphor sea because sea: “My bounty is as boundless as the sea,”
For her love for Romeo has no boundaries and her love is deep and she is in a very venerable situation. Another connotation is that her love for Romeo is infinite just like the sea, the sea can never be emptied and that if you take some water out of the sea the water from other sources flow into the sea; the sea is an infinite source.
Juliet asks Romeo if he truly loves her then he will tell the messenger that he would like to marry Juliet and that he must tell the messenger when and where.
Her feelings towards marriage are that Juliet has changed throughout the play, as she was a girl bewildered by love and not even thought about marriage:
“It is an honour that I thought not of” not realising however, that she would fall in love the very next day. She seems very young in the first scene as when the nurse is telling her
“Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit;
Wilt thou not, Jule?”
Which has a very rude meaning: That when she has more courage she will fall back(onto the bed, with a man) Juliet’s reaction to the nurses speech is that she is very embarrassed and in an uncomfortable position and begs the nurse to be quiet: “And stint thou too, I pray thee, nurse, say I.” this Is called dramatic irony as later on through the play she will fall on her back. What she didn’t realise was that it would with Romeo her families foe.
Juliet never wants to let Romeo go as she wishes Romeo were her male bird and that she could call him any time she wanted and she could keep him and watch and look at him all day but if she were to have him as a bird she would kill him to death with her love:
“Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.”
Every time she says good bye she would call him back again wishing him goodnight.
I think that Shakespeare sets the scene that Juliet is a teenager outstandingly perfect and that he gets the frequent changes of moods and anxious exited behaviour from Juliet when she hears news of her beloved I think Shakespeare will never be forgotten and neither will Juliet as her fresh and forever changing yet tragic character gives the play life.
What Romeo said:
Soft. What light from yonder window breaks? It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.
she realises that he is a Montague and that he is her enemy.Pay attention to tense.
She is also using a rhetorical question, and that indicates the end of the thought, but she asks a question within a question.
her family's foe