How can I best defend Juliet in a mock court case? I think the families are mostly to blame, but I drew the name "Juliet" and haven't a clue where to start!  

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If you had to defend Juliet against charges, you might try to defend her against disobedience to her parents (which was considered a serious offence in her day) and agains deception in marrying Romeo without permission and without a public announcement of the marriage.  Is the assignment to try to defend her from blame for the tragic events?

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Of what crime is she accused?  Disobedience to her father?  Murder?  Taking illegal drugs?  No, Juliet’s love for Romeo is the start of a healing process; it’s what the heads of the two families should have done a long time ago.  As for Elizabethan law, there has been no theft (laws against property were not broken; if there was a law against suicide, it was God’s law, and besides, Juliet doesn’t exactly kill herself.)  It would take quite a stretch to see criminal wrongdoing here – the play is not about that.  It’s about how the family constraints thwart the natural “laws of love.”

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