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What is the relationship between Romeo and his parents?

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jessica123321 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted July 1, 2007 at 12:56 AM via web

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What is the relationship between Romeo and his parents?

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Jamie Wheeler | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

Posted July 1, 2007 at 1:26 AM (Answer #1)

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What we know about the Montagues and their son must largely be surmised from Romeo's actions.  There is not the intense dialogue from Lord and Lady Montague as there is between the Capulets and Juliet.  In fact, Montague has only ten lines of dialogue in the entire play!  (See link below.)

We know that Romeo does not hold the anciet animosity for the Capulets that his parents cling to.  When Juliet asks him to "Deny thy father and refuse thy name," Romeo does not hesitate to respond with "Henceforth I shall never be Romeo...My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself / Because it is an enemy to thee" (2.2)

The fact that Romeo is so willing to give up his "good name" is pretty telling of his relationship with his parents.  They have not given him much reason, in his opinion, to value his family ties. 

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blacksheepunite | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted July 1, 2007 at 5:57 AM (Answer #2)

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Romeo's relationship with his parents is somewhat typical. Romeo's mother and father seem to care about his well-being, but Romeo is a teenage boy who keeps secrets; the family is caring but distant. Romeo's father knows Romeo is depressed. He has observed his son's behaviour and is aware that Romeo's condition is serious (he says that Romeo's state may prove "black and portentous" if it can't be remedied). He also has tried to find out what is wrong with Romeo both on his own and with the help of friends, to no avail. So Montague is caring but incapable of bridging the distance between himself and his son, even with assistance. Lady Montague appears even more disconnected than her husband. Again, she cares--she is pleased to hear that Romeo hasn't been fighting--but seems oblivious to the deeper  problems Romeo has. In this, she appears to be even more removed from her son than her husband, for her concern seems misplaced (at least initially), for Romeo is more of a lover than a fighter.

Neither parent functions as a confidant or a guide for Romeo. He shares neither the source of his sorrow nor the source of his joy with them. He does not consider going to them for advice, but instead shares his troubles with the friar and Benvolio, neither of whom give him particularly good counsel.

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kkarszes | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Adjunct Educator

Posted November 13, 2007 at 1:10 AM (Answer #3)

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Romeo has a fairly typical relationship with his parents.  If you look at the beginning of the play, Lady Montague wants to know where Romeo is, if his cousin has seen him that day...  His father is a concerned parent as well, he has observed Romeo in his depressive actions recently and can't figure out what his problem is.  He would like Benevolio to help them find the answer and both parents remove themselves quickly from the scene to allow for Benevolio to privately converse with Romeo.  Later in the play, Romeo sends a letter to his father to explain his death, another act of caring between the son and his parents.

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