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When Juliet says, "Madam I am here, what is your will?" in  act 1, scene 3 of Romeo...

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted October 1, 2013 at 10:28 PM via web

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When Juliet says, "Madam I am here, what is your will?" in  act 1, scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet  how does it show obedience towards Lady Capulet?

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litteacher8 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

Posted October 1, 2013 at 11:32 PM (Answer #1)

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Juliet is formally asking her mother what she wants her to do.  This demonstrates obedience because she seems ready to do what her mother asks.

In Act 1, Juliet is very obedient.  She is mostly respectful to her mother, and considerate to her father.  When she asks her mother what she wants, she does it in a formal and polite fashion. 

When Lady Capulet asks Juliet how she feels about marriage, her response is reserved and polite.

It is an honour that I dream not of. (Act 1, Scene 3)

Juliet does not want to marry.  She thinks she is too young.  But she goes along with the discussion because she wants to be polite and because in her culture parents decide for their children.  Juliet has no say.

Juliet’s obedience is not a bad thing on its face, but it has tragic consequences.  If her parents had not tried to enforce their will on her, she and Romeo might have still been alive.


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