Marriage in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet Essay

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Whether it is the 1500s or the new millennium, love is still essentially the same although with some differences in customs. Romeo and Juliet is the very epitome of love in Shakespeare’s time.

Marriage in Shakespeare’s time mostly served as a union of two parties interested in acquiring property, money or political alliances. Few ever married for love.
Most girls were married at 14 or 15. In Shakespeare's famous play, Romeo and Juliet, the readers are able to see the significance of age in marriage. Juliet's mother, Lady Capulet, demonstrates the fact that it was possible to marry off a daughter at the extremely young age of 14 years old. Juliet is 13 when the plays starts and Lady Capulet is already in great haste to marry her off.
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All the mothers would choose a man who was attractive and had a suitable position in society for their daughter. Lady Capulet, as well as the Nurse, believes love comes from appearance, both physical and political, and has nothing to do with emotion. She shows this when she speaks favourably of Paris's looks and his nobility.

Females were seen as fragile and were treated delicately. Males regard women more as property than as an individual. Paris has a similar view of love. He loves Juliet for her appearance and nothing else. He doesn’t even know what kind of person Juliet is, only that she is attractive.

Most males were very selfish and only thought of themselves, especially in regards to females. In a relationship, everything is about them. At Juliet’s death chamber, Paris shows how selfish his love is. When he believes Juliet is dead (in Act IV) he seems sorrier for his own loss than for Juliet’s parents’ loss. He loves Juliet as much as he can love anyone, but his love cannot be considered true love because of his selfishness.

Throughout the play, the audience sees what is defined as true love in Shakespearean society. This love is the deep, all consuming love that carries with it feelings of trust and commitment, the love that is exemplified by Romeo and Juliet. The definition of true love, which Shakespeare provides, shows that all the other characters' definitions of love leave a lot to be desired.

Marriages had a

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