What are similarities and differences between Juliet's character in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and the poem "A Woman To Her Lover," by Christina Walsh?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In many ways, Juliet's character is actually presented as being the exact opposite of the woman speaking in the poem "A Woman To Her Lover," by Christina Walsh. For one thing Juliet basked in Romeo's praise while this woman rejects it. In addition, Juliet seems to have no difficulty seeing herself as a "creature who will have no greater joy / than gratify [Romeo's] clamorous desire." However, we do see some similarities in Juliet's character with the first stanza in relation to her refusal to marry Paris.

When we first meet Juliet, we learn that marriage is "an honour that [she] dream[s] not of" (I.iii.70). Could it be that one reason why she does not want to marry is she understands that she'll be treated as a "bondslave / to bear [her husband] children"? She'll be made to do his will, and he will become her "conqueror," just as Walsh describes in the first stanza. Hence, she might be rejecting Paris because she believes he will be treating her in the manner described in this first stanza.

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Romeo and Juliet

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