Juliet Powerlessneesshow is juliet powerless

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wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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Women in general were far more powerless than men during this time period. If Juliet ran away, as the friar suggests, she would have no way to take care for herself. There weren't many jobs a woman could get; they weren't any jobs for women that a rich girl like Juliet would know how to do. Upper class women had to depend upon their fathers, brothers, or husbands to care for them. This is the reason why Juliet's family is so eager for her to marry Paris; he can take care of her easily as a count. It is also why Juliet's gayer threatens to throw her out if she does not marry him. He tells her she can "hang, beg, starve, die in the street" if she doesn't marry Paris. Those are actually pretty realistic options for a girl like Juliet. She wouldn't know how to be a cook or a maid. If she lost her father's protection and she wasn't married, she would have to beg in the streets. That's pretty powerless.
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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Act IV, faced with the insistence of her mother that she marry Paris, and confronted by the ire of her father who threatens to send her to a nunnery if she does not obey him, Juliet certainly feels herself powerless against the forces of fate.  Indeed, it is in despair that she flees to the cell of Friar Laurence, fligging herself upon his floor, desperately threatening to kill herself.  Certainly, in this part of the play, Juliet feels powerless because if she were to tell her father that she is married to Romeo, she risks being expelled from her home when her husband is already banished.  Thus, she would have no where to go.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

auntlori's profile pic

Lori Steinbach | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When it comes to dealing with the Paris situation after Romeo's banishment, Juliet is powerless--or is she.  Let's see, she found a way to seek the help of the Friar, she takes her future into her own hands by imbibing the poison, and she plans to live a life with Romeo far away from her parents and without their permission.  Perhaps she was powerless before the banishment? Nope.  She was only asked to consider Paris as a potential husband, and her father told him plainly he would have to win her love before Capulet would consent to the marriage.  Juliet had the power.  She managed to meet, fall in love, marry, and spend a wedding night with the son of her father's enemy.  Juliet is even in control of her own death--misguided, perhaps, but in control.  I'd say Juliet is not particularly powerless.

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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When her parents tell her to marry Paris, she has very little power at that point, right?  She really has to do what they say (unless she is willing to kill herself the way she actually does).  She's in a situation where she has the choice of obeying or dying.  I'd say that's pretty powerless.

 

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