Does the fact that their love is forbidden, excite Juliet into their quick marriage? If so, where is this referred to in Skakespeare's play, Romeo and Juliet?

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booboosmoosh | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

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In reading Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, I do not see any indication that Juliet is motivated by a sense of rebellion where Romeo is concerned. If anything, I believe Juliet falls in love first, and then will move heaven and earth (as best as she is able) to be with her husband, Romeo.

First, Juliet is described in our Character Analysis as being...

...a docile, dutiful child.

When her mother sends for her, she does not complain or ask her to wait, but complies with her mother's wishes:

Madam, I am here,

What is your will?" (I.iii.5-6)

Romeo enters her life and she is never the same again.

If we study the meeting of the two young people (and remember that this play takes place over the very brief span of five days), we recall that Juliet and Romeo fall in love immediately ("love at first sight") without knowing that the other is the member of their enemy's family.

In Act One, scene five, Romeo is taken by Juliet's beauty and begins to woo her, having no sense of who she is...


If I profane with my unworthiest hand

This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:

My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand

To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. (98-101)

If, he says, his hands are too rough as he takes her, he says he can smooth over the roughness with a kiss.

Juliet claims that he is too hard on his concern for his touch—for he is well-mannered, polite:


Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,

Which mannerly devotion shows in this... (102-103)

Their flirtation continues—they are simply enchanted with one another. When Romeo shows up at her terrace, (and each now knows who the other is), Juliet is completely won over by Romeo's protestations of love; if anything, her innocence sweeps her away hearing Romeo's speeches, and she falls for him very quickly.

Romeo's words tell us how he feels for this young woman: he compares her to the sun and moon, noting that her loveliness is more powerful either of these heavenly bodies.


(Enter Juliet above at a window.)

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief

That thou her maid art far more fair than she. (II.ii.2-6)

Juliet calls out for Romeo: she asks if he can love her and put aside their families' hatred; or, if he cannot, she will do so, for their love. She is not speaking of marriage at this point, only her love for Romeo—worrying about what might keep them apart.


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. (35-38)

The only time Juliet becomes rebellious is when her parents try to make her marry Paris: not only does she not love him, but she is already married to Romeo. This marriage bond is sacred to her, but she also loves Romeo.

This is not a young woman who desires to make trouble; to find their happiness, she will agree to run away from the strife between the Capulets and Montagues. Keeping the secret away from her family shows more concern to help her realize her dream with Romeo than to get a cheap thrill by defying her father and mother.

When Romeo proposes...


Th’ exchange of thy love's faithful vow for mine. (133)

...Juliet accepts, without deceit...


I gave thee mine before thou didst request it... (134)


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