Shakespeare shows Juliet’s changing emotions and state of mind throughout the play Romeo and Juliet. The readers witness this development of Juliet through various different situations during the play. The readers see this development of Juliet through her emotional changes and state of mind in these situations.
One of these changes that the readers witness is how Juliet changes as a person from when she speaks to Romeo on the balcony in Act 2 Scene 1. The readers see Juliet as a very serious, realistic person in the way she acts whilst speaking with Romeo. She speaks to Romeo quite direct and gives little away. She constantly puts up a front, warning of him of the dangers of talking to her. The readers know this when she says “If they see thee, they will murder thee”. This shows Juliet’s realistic approach towards things compared to Romeos quixotic ideas about love, when he replies “My life were better ended by their hate, then death prorogued, wanting of thy love”. This shows how strongly Romeo believes in the subject of love, enough so that he claims he is willing to die for his love Juliet.
The change the readers see here is that when Juliet speaks to Romeo on the balcony we see how they contrast as characters, as Romeo feels strongly about the subject of love whereas Juliet takes a much more realistic approach to things. However, as the story progresses the readers see Juliet change from a very practical character to a more accepting one.
The readers again witness a change in Juliet, this time in how she is willing to commit to Romeo based on her feelings. We see this in Act 4 scene 1 when she hatches a desperate plan with Friar Lawrence, to try and stop her marrying Paris. The sheer extent of this situation shows just how much Juliet has accepted love and wants to commit to Romeo, by refusing to marry the man who her parents have insisted. We
Know this when she says “O bid me leap, rather then marry Paris”. This shows just how much Juliet wants to be with Romeo.
Another change in Juliet which is shown through Shakespeare’s language and drama is that at the beginning of the story the readers see Juliet as a slightly naive, vulnerable little girl. We know this when Juliet’s father says “My child is yet a stranger in the world”. This shows how Juliet is belittled by the people around her, not seen as someone who has her own opinion and feelings towards things.
The difference the readers see here is how Juliet’s develops from a naive, vulnerable little girl to a mature, strong minded young woman. The readers first see Juliet undermined by her father but as we progress through the story we see how strong minded she has become, willing to rebel for what she believes in, in the name of love. The readers see the development of Juliet in Act 4, scene 3 when Juliet decides to take control of her fate by taking a potion which will put a stop to her marrying Paris and allowing her to be with Romeo.
The readers see this when she says “what if this mixture do not work at all? Shall I be married then tomorrow morning? No no, this shall forbid it. Lie thou there”. Juliet then proceeds to lay down a dagger beside her. This shows how Juliet has come to commit herself to Romeo, and has accepted that she loves him. We see her true desperation not to marry Paris in order to be with the man she loves. This shows how Juliet has matured into someone who is willing to fight for what she believes in, her feelings of love.
Another change that the readers witness in Juliet is how she changes as a character from when she first met Romeo. At the beginning of the story Juliet is seen as a very practical, realistic person, never really letting her true feelings shine through in front of other people, however as we progress through the story Juliet’s feelings about love are really seen as something that she truly believes in. We see this during Romeo and Juliet’s wedding in Act 2, Scene 6.
Throughout this wedding ceremony Romeo and Juliet both seem incredibly happy and are somewhat convincing that they love each other. This shows how much Juliet has changed since she first met with Romeo. We know this when she says “My true love is grown to such excess; I cannot sum up the half of my wealth”. This shows the readers how Juliet has committed herself to Romeo, and wants to spend the rest of her life with him.