Juliet’s character develops significantly over the course of Romeo and Juliet. In the beginning, she is a sheltered young girl who has been sheltered from the reality of the world. She is naïve and doesn’t understand the concept of love. However, once she meets Romeo and they fall in love, her entire perspective changes.
She becomes more mature and starts to understand the true nature of love. This change is evident in the way she speaks and acts around Romeo. She also becomes more willing to take risks, as evidenced by her decision to marry Romeo in secret. Overall, Juliet undergoes a major transformation from a naïve young girl to a mature young woman over the course of the play.
In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, my attitude toward one of the main characters varies many times over the course of the play. It is Juliet herself who undergoes a transformation. Shakespeare depicts the changes in Juliet effectively with words, imagery, and key speeches.
At the beginning of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare presents Juliet as a naïve girl who is content with her life and unaware of the dangers that love can bring. This is shown in Juliet’s first speech in the play where she says ‘What’s in a name? That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet.’ (II.ii.43-44).
Juliet is saying that names are unimportant and that Romeo’s name, Montague, does not change who he is as a person. This shows that Juliet is not concerned with the feud between the Montagues and Capulets and she does not understand why Romeo has to be hidden from her sight.
The nurse’s first description of Juliet occurs when she is recalling her childhood. From the nurses’ reminiscences of Juliet’s youth, I infer that she is like a mother figure to her. Lady Capulet, Juliet’s mother, enters and asks her daughter whether she thinks it would be better to marry a bachelor known as Paris than to remain single.
Juliet’s response shows that she is not ready for marriage and does not have any intention of getting married soon. When Romeo first meets Juliet he is struck by her beauty and falls in love with her instantly. Romeo is so enchanted by Juliet that he forgets all about his previous love, Rosaline.
Romeo and Juliet meet at a masquerade ball and despite not knowing each other’s identity, they declare their love for each other. The morning after the ball, Romeo sneaks into the Capulet orchard to catch another glimpse of Juliet. Upon seeing Romeo, Juliet reflects on how quickly she has fallen in love with him.
Tybalt, Romeo’s cousin, challenges Romeo to a duel after Romeo refuses to fight him. Romeo refuses to duel Tybalt because he is now related to him through his marriage to Juliet. Romeo’s decision not to fight shows that his love for Juliet has changed him and he is no longer the impulsive, hot-headed young man that he once was.
Juliet finds out that Romeo has been banished from Verona after he killed Tybalt in self-defence. Romeo’s banishment causes Juliet a great deal of pain as she cannot bear the thought of living without him. In an attempt to be reunited with Romeo, Juliet comes up with a plan whereby she will take a potion that will make her appear dead for ‘two and forty hours’. Romeo will be notified of Juliet’s ‘death’ and he will come to her tomb, where they will be reunited.
The plan goes awry when Romeo believes that Juliet is truly dead and kills himself. Upon waking up and finding Romeo’s corpse next to her, Juliet takes her own life. The death of Romeo and Juliet ultimately brings about a change in the relationship between the Montagues and the Capulets as they are finally able to see the error of their ways.
Juliet is a young girl who undergoes a great deal of growth and development during the course of Romeo and Juliet. When we first meet her, she is a naïve young girl who knows nothing of love or heartbreak. However, by the end of the play she has experienced both love and loss and her character has been changed forever as a result.
In the end, this reveals that Juliet is a dutiful and obedient daughter, as she will go to see Paris because her parents have requested it of her. It depicts that she is a good daughter for her folks in many ways. She also appears to be extremely polite and well-mannered towards her mother, as if they were strangers to each other. This leads us to believe that Juliet is a lovely child who would never displease her parents.
We see a change in Juliet’s character when Romeo is banished. She is now prepared to disobey her parents and go against their wishes. She is willing to marry Romeo in secret and defy her father’s wishes. This shows us that she is prepared to stand up for herself and Romeo, even if it means going against her family.
When Romeo is killed, we see a further change in Juliet’s character. She is now willing to take her own life, rather than live without Romeo. This shows us that she is completely devoted to him and would rather die than be without him. Shakespeare effectively uses this change in Juliet’s character to show the depth of her love for Romeo.
Furthermore, when Juliet comes face-to-face with Romeo at the Capulet ball, she undergoes a transformation. Romeo and his pals attend the mask ball without being asked. This is due to the fact that the Capulets are hosting the event. They use masks to enable them to enter unrecognized. Rather than dancing or participating in any of the activities, Romeo volunteers to be a torchbearer so he can observe rather than participate.
This is so he can stay close to Romeo. He is enchanted by her beauty and she seems to have a similar reaction to him. Romeo says ‘Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!/ For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night’. He has been struck by Cupid’s arrow and fallen in love at first sight. This is significant as it changes Romeo from being a moody teenager who was in love with Rosaline to being head-over-heels for Juliet.
We see Romeo change again when he hears that Juliet is a Capulet. Romeo becomes very upset because he knows that his family would never accept Juliet as his wife because of the longstanding feud between the two families. Romeo says ‘O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?/ Deny thy father and refuse thy name;/ Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,/ And I’ll no longer be a Capulet’. He is prepared to give up his name and family just to be with Juliet. This shows us that Romeo’s love for Juliet is so strong that he is willing to completely change his identity for her.
Juliet also goes through a big change in the play. Before she meets Romeo, Juliet is a naïve young girl who is not yet aware of the power of love. She has been brought up by her father and Nurse to believe that marriage is nothing more than a business transaction.
This is why she agrees to marry Paris even though she does not love him. However, once Juliet meets Romeo and falls in love with him, she starts to question the arranged marriage. She says ‘It is an honour that I dream not of’. She realises that she does not want to marry someone just for the sake of it, she wants to marry for love.
The changes that Romeo and Juliet go through during the course of the play are significant because they highlight the power of love. Romeo and Juliet are willing to change everything about themselves just to be together. Their love for each other is so strong that it completely changes their characters.