What is the influence of the parents in Romeo and Juliet?

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

For the most part, the parents' role are one of antagonists.  The Montagues might be more in tune with their son's behaviors, but they do little to lessen the rivalry with the Capulets that create the climate that forces the two young people to have to hide their love away from others.  The intense antagonism offered in the role of the parents have to rest with the Capulets.  Both Lady and Lord Capulet are shown to represent the force of authority that does not heed the intent of the subject, in this case Juliet.  The stance that both Lord and Lady Capulet take in demanding that Juliet marry Paris and the hard position taken on Juliet's own future is noteworthy. Even after Juliet has indicated that she does not want to marry Paris and Lord Capulet has essentially disowned her, he continues with plans for her marriage.  In the end, the parents' roles are not that of nurterer or caretaker, as much as antagonist or obstacle that stands in the way of both childrens' happiness.

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Romeo and Juliet

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