Throughout the course of a story, characters may experience change. If a character does not change during the story, that character is considered static. On the other hand, if a character does change, that character is considered dynamic. With this idea in mind, I think it’s best to categorize Juliet ...
Throughout the course of a story, characters may experience change. If a character does not change during the story, that character is considered static. On the other hand, if a character does change, that character is considered dynamic. With this idea in mind, I think it’s best to categorize Juliet as a dynamic character since her opinions about marriage change and she becomes more independent.
In Act I, Scene III, Lady Capulet comes to talk to Juliet about getting married. When Lady Capulet asks Juliet what she thinks about getting married, she blatantly says, “It is an honor that I dream not of.” In other words, she has zero interest in marrying anyone; in this specific case, they are referring to Paris.
Shortly after in Act I, Scene V, at the ball in which Paris is supposed to woo Juliet, she catches a glimpse of Romeo. Without even knowing his name, Juliet is infatuated with Romeo: “If he be married / My grave is like to be my wedding bed.” She’ll die if Romeo is already married. Keep in mind, this comment is coming from the girl who said marriage isn’t even on her radar just two scenes ago. In fact, in Act II, Scene II, she proposes marriage to Romeo:
“Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honorable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow,
By one that I’ll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite,
And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.”
Back to the conversation between Lady Capulet and Juliet in Act I, Scene III, Lady Capulet pleads that Juliet makes an attempt to like Paris, to which she responds, “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move. / But no more deep will I endart mine eye / Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.” With that, Juliet is agreeing to obey her parents’ wish, but she isn’t making any promises about the outcome.
After Romeo and Juliet have already been married by Friar Lawrence, in Act III, Scene V, Lady Capulet tells Juliet she will marry Paris, “Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn / The gallant, young, and noble gentleman, / The County Paris, at Saint Peter’s Church, / Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.”
While Juliet has already declared her independence from her parents by marrying Romeo in the first place, it is only after Juliet refuses to marry Paris that she displays her independence to them. Lord Capulet responds angrily (and, quite frankly, abusively) to her disobedience and what he views as ungratefulness.