How does your impression of Juliet changed ( from act 1 to balcony scene ) 

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coachingcorner eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At the beginning of Shakespeare’s play Juliet does not appear, so we get to meet Romeo first, and then when we meet Juliet, we meet her as she responds to Romeo. We are told that she is still quite young, and also seems to be very quiet, demure and respectful towards her family. Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet. Her character at first appears to be passive, obedient, gentle and innocent. However all is changed when she meets Romeo where she  shows she is not as shy as our first impressions suggest. In their dialogue, Juliet is as vocal as Romeo and has a similar gently assertive style, and they even kiss not once but twice.

Having obviously fallen in love, Shakespeare makes sure we, the audience, understand this about her by having Juliet tell us about her love for Romeo, despite her knowing his family are enemies of her family. Further on, she announces her love Romeo again, the dramatic irony being present in her not knowing he can hear.

Juliet’s thoughts are profound and analytical which shows her intelligence, and that her love of Romeo must be sincere. When Juliet realises Romeo is around, her thoughts are immediately worries for him, his security and safety are important to her, so already she has changed and grown up - she is starting to take on the role of responsibility for others. She has  him say he does love her, yet Juliet still  seems very sensible and down to earth about it, not exacting any evidence or  proof, showing she has a trusting nature -  his word is good enough for her.

The we see her grow more independent, and she displays her new assertiveness by suggesting marriage. Then Juliet announces she will follow her Romeo 'throughout the world'. She is single-minded and determined, never doubting her new husband, even when she hears about Tybalt and the fight and finds out he killed her cousin. She is even prepared to take her own life for him,  bravely undertaking the Friar's cunning scheme,  disobeying her own family and risking everything, showing she has a mind of her own. She finds Romeo dead next to her and eventually we see her loyalty and devotion when she decides she can’t live without him. She has changed a lot since the beginning of the play, but the tragedy is that she still had a lot of growing up to do - they both had. That was not the answer and the dilemma could have been sorted in so many different ways.