How does the language in Romeo and Juliet convey that social status and power are the most important thing in a persons life?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Certainly, if one wanted to make this argument, I think that one would point to the parents of the two young people.  Lady and Lord Capulet are an example of how important status and power are to the individual.  Consider the confrontation between Juliet and her parents in Act III.  It is in the fifth scene where power and status become so important that these become the means by which children can be controlled.  Lord and Lady Capulet are driven the fact that Juliet has to marry Parris.  She cannot marry someone of her own will, as her parents seem to be more concerned with the status of a dutiful daughter and a parent- approved alliance.  The fact that Lord Capulet threatens Juliet with being cast out of the house and uses the term "beggar" helps to emphasize this point.  The need to describe Juliet as someone who is outside of accepted norm and someone who has lost power reflects how language is constructed to convey that social status and power is essential to a person's life.  In this moment, the parents must choose between the happiness of their own daughter and their own sense of social status and power.  The choice becomes evident, and demonstrates upon what the parents place emphasis.

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