How Lack of Parental Support Lead to a Tragedy in Romeo and Juliet
Parental support and guidance play an integral role in the development and nourishment of a child’s character during their teen years. Child neglection can cause mental health issues which can be detrimental to the child’s future. Parental support and involvement in a child’s interests and academics both contribute to their self-esteem and efficacy.
The lack of support from Lady Capulet, the lack of communication and distant relationship between Juliet and her parents, and Lord Capulet’s impulsive and short-tempered decisions are ultimately at blame for the tragic events between the two star-crossed lovers in The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare.
Firstly, Lady Capulet’s lack of motherly support and effort to build a caring relationship with her daughter is displayed throughout the play and is one of the reasons for the death of Juliet. In the third scene of the play, Lady Capulet is trying to pressure Juliet into marriage by telling her “What say you? Can you love the gentleman? / This night you shall behold him at our feast. / Read over the volume of young Paris’s face, / And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen” (Shakespeare I.iii.82-85).
Even though Juliet has already told her mother that she’s not interested in pursuing marriage, Lady Capulet still urges her daughter to talk to Paris at the Capulet’s feast later that day. She goes on to inform Juliet to examine the facial features of Paris and how she’ll realize that he is one of Verona’s finest men, further pressuring her to wed Paris.
Lady Capulet indirectly pressures and urges Juliet to accept Paris’s hand in marriage. This action by Lady Capulet portrays her lack of compassion and understanding towards Juliet, as she completely disregards Juliet’s say on getting married. This shows that Juliet’s mother does not value or even consider her daughter’s opinion about marriage and would not provide moral or physical support if she were to find another husband or remain celibate. Secondly, when Lord Capulet threatens to disown Juliet after she rejects Paris’s hand in marriage, Lady Capulet, instead of defending or understanding Juliet’s situation, states “Talk not to me, for I’ll not speak a word. / Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee” (III.v.212-213).
Juliet, who is shaken from her father’s harsh words and threats, turns to her mother for help who in turn acts very selfish and cold-hearted and storms out the room. She completely dismisses whatever Juliet has to say as she believes that it will bring shame to the family and her status as a Capulet. This quote portrays that Lady Capulet cares more about her status than she ever did for her only daughter. Furthermore, this quote is a perfect demonstration of how Juliet’s mother shows no support or sympathy for Juliet whatsoever. Lady Capulet’s failure in providing Juliet with support and encouragement is partially the cause of the tragic events that take place in Romeo and Juliet.
Secondly, Lord and Lady Capulet’s failure in building a strong, parent-child bond with Juliet is ultimately what leads to the tragic event of Juliet’s death. Throughout the play, Lady Capulet does not make an effort to build a close relationship with Juliet, which keeps the two distant from each other. Lady Capulet is always busy and never has enough time to spend with Juliet. Lady Capulet’s question, “Nurse, where’s my daughter? / Call her forth to me” directed towards the Nurse informs the reader that Lady Capulet is not aware of Juliet’s whereabouts and what she does in her spare time (I.iii.1-1).
Due to the detached relationship between the two characters, Juliet does not have anyone close that she can seek advice from other than the Nurse. The use of the word “daughter” by Lady Capulet demonstrates a lack of mother-daughter connection and formal feeling between the two characters. The tragic ending of Romeo and Juliet could have been avoided if someone she trusted had counseled and given her advice on how she should have handled her love with Romeo. In addition, Lord Capulet’s lack of communication and interaction with her daughter led to Romeo and Juliet’s death. Lord Capulet agrees to accept Paris’s hand in marriage with Juliet in an instant and tells him “Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender / Of my child’s love. I think she will be ruled / In all respects by me. Nay, more, I doubt it not” (III.iv.12-14).
Although this quote contradicts his earlier statements in the play where he stated that Paris will have to win over Juliet’s heart, he believes that the best cure to Juliet’s depressed state will be being wed to Paris. Little does he know that the main reason for Juliet’s mourning is not about Tybalt at all, it is actually the banishment of her beloved husband, Romeo. This tragedy could have been avoided as a whole if Lord Capulet was more understanding and interacted with his daughter. In the end, it came down to trust, and Juliet did not trust her father by informing him about her true love and how she felt about marrying Romeo instead of Paris. In conclusion, Lord and Lady Capulet’s absence of interaction and communication and the Capulet’s haste in getting their daughter married ultimately cost them their daughter’s life.
Lastly, Lord Capulet’s impulsive and short-tempered decisions and his ego and pride pave the way for the tragic deaths of Romeo and Juliet. Firstly, when Juliet denies marrying Paris, Lord Capulet gets extremely furious and states “Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch! / I tell thee what – get thee to church a Thursday / Or never after look me in the face. / Speak not, reply not, do not answer me! / My fingers itch” (III.v.165-169). This quote perfectly demonstrates how infuriated Lord Capulet gets at Juliet’s ungrateful behavior especially because the Capulet’s have worked extremely hard to get the best possible match for their beloved daughter.
Lord Capulet is so enraged that he states “My fingers itch” meaning that he is itching to slap her. He also threatens to disown Juliet if she does not marry Paris. If Lord Capulet had not forced Juliet to accept Paris’s hand in marriage, Juliet would not have plotted a demise with Friar Lawrence to find a way out of the marriage. This way Romeo wouldn’t have committed suicide and both of the lovers would still be alive. In addition, the whole series of unfortunate events that takes place in the play could have been easily prevented if Lord Capulet had listened to Tybalt and decided to dismiss Romeo, as he is a Montague. When Tybalt hears Romeo’s voice at the Capulet feast, he believes that he has visited just to disdain the Capulet’s. Tybalt decides to take immediate action and goes directly to Lord Capulet himself and informs him about the unwelcomed guest, Romeo.
Instead of getting infuriated, he states “He bears him like a portly gentleman, / And, to say truth, Verona brags of him / To be a virtuous and well-governed youth. / I would not for the wealth of all this town / Here in my house do him disparagement” (I.v. 66-70). This quote portrays how proud Lord Capulet is of himself and how highly he thinks society views him. Even though Lord Capulet and Romeo are from different families who loathe each other due to a centuries-old feud, Lord Capulet still justifies and defends Romeo’s visit to the feast. He believes that expelling Romeo from his house will create an enormous outburst and commotion, he prefers that Romeo just stays at his house and enjoy the feast. If Lord Capulet had set aside his ego and social status, Romeo would have never met Juliet, therefore preventing their deaths. In conclusion, Lord Capulet’s impulsive decisions and his self-esteem are the main reasons for Romeo and Juliet’s death.
In conclusion, Lord Capulet’s impulsive decisions and self-esteem, absence of communication and parent-child bonding, and Lady Capulet’s failure to support and comfort Juliet ultimately led to the death of the cursed lovers. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare could have ended differently if Juliet’s parents encouraged and supported her throughout the play.
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