Romeo and Juliet the Theme of Commitment

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jobailey
Words 2583
Pages 11
The word commitment can mean different things to different people. It can conjure up images of dedication to a task or mission, it can refer to an obligation to family, or it can relate to a person’s resolution to conform to what society expects of them. However, more frequently it is linked to the idea of love and relationships; and in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” that is certainly the translation that is examined.
Act 2, Scene 2 of the play in question is where the famous “balcony” scene takes place. It is the location where both lovers declare their mutual love for eachother and their desire to commit to eachother. Very quickly Juliet commits to “… follow thee my lord throughout the world”. In short she falls in love with him so entirely that the instantly commits to conforming to the role of a woman that was expected by society in Verona during the Shakespearian era – to become her husband’s “servant”. Of course by 2015 standards that would seem awful to most people, however, in the 15th century this was very much the accepted view. Juliet refers to Romeo as her “lord” for his duty to her once married was to provide for her, and offer her the security that her father’s wealth did not as women were unable to inherit their father’s estate. In return married women were expected to be grateful for the opportunity of marriage and were required to show this by baring her husband’s children (heirs), maintaining the home her husband provided her with, and to obey her husband’s every decision or request.
Up until this point however, Juliet seemed to reject this convention. Earlier on in the play when her mother had asked her if she had ever thought of marriage she had replied “it is an honour I dream not of” and her refusal to accept the proposal of Paris solely on the grounds of his status and looks (not love) suggested that she was far from typical girls of that…...

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