Romeo and Juliet: A Feminist's View
Close Passage Analysis – Romeo and Juliet Feminist Critical Theory In this passage, two men, Capulet and Paris, are speaking of their arrangements of marriage for Juliet between Paris and Juliet.
Capulet informs Paris that he would like to have his daughter Juliet marry Paris, and asks his opinion on that. Capulet says, “Sir Paris, I will make a desperate tender Of my child’s love. I think she will be ruled In all aspects by me; nay more, I doubt it not” (153). Here, Capulet is showing that he has the authority over Juliet, and has not asked her about her consent to marrying Paris, yet plans the marriage for her, as the man in control of the woman. William Shakespeare uses Capulet’s character in this scene to show this control.
Shakespeare also shows that Capulet also knows that he has the authority over his wife, which is an aspect of his life that he abuses by commanding her to tell Juliet of the news. Capulets says, “Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed; Acquaint her her of my son Paris’ love…” (153). Capulet does not even say his wife’s name, or Lady Capulet at all, only “Wife” which I consider quite rude.
Next, Capulet decides to marry Juliet on a Wednesday, not knowing that that is in two days. He says, “And bid her (mark you me?) in Wednesday next- But, soft! what day is this?” Paris says, “Monday, my lord.” Capulet speaks again, “Monday! ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon. A Thursday let it be–a Thursday, tell her, She shall be married to this noble earl.” (153-155). In this section, Capulet realizes that Wednesday is too early for his daughter to be married, so he changes the date of the wedding to Thursday, three days from when he and Paris arrange the marriage.
Capulet also speaks to his wife and tells her to tell Juliet about the arrangement, and not Capulet himself, because he obviously knows that this news will make her upset, and he wants his wife to have to go through Juliet’s pain with her, not him. He does this even though he is the one who made the wedding arrangements. I know that feminists would disapprove of these actions because the men are relying on the women to do the jobs that they do not want to do, and that men will not take responsibility for their actions, but rather command their wives and women to do so. Lastly, Capulet saysto Paris that the wedding is arranged for Thursday, and that he shall send his wife to prepare Juliet, again showing the abused authority that he has for his wife. “Prepare her, wife, against this wedding day. Farewell, my lord.
-Light to my chamber, ho!” (155). Capulet uses this dialogue to show that he will prepare his daughter’s wedding without asking her, showing men’s authority over women, and that most marriages were arranged. He also again tells his wife to take care of Juliet, and again only speaking to her as “Wife”. I know for a fact that all feminists would be against these actions and dialogue. This is because the women in the play are not being treated or referred to as people, and only by the few titles that they have, such as wife or servant.
Feminists want equality for all women and men, so that women are not treated with such disrespect. The author of this play, William Shakespeare, was obviously not a feminist, based on the actions and dialogue of his different characters. He shows the men saying rude things to the women, and also makes the women take orders from the men. Emma Watson gave a speech about feminism, saying that men and women deserve the same equality, and I think that she would very much disapprove of the way that the men and women are portrayed in this play. I think that all other feminist would have the same feelings, that the women are only included as servants or lesser people, only to obtain little respect, and that the men are superior, stronger, and more able than women.