Capulet and Juliet vs Portia and Her Father
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Conflict in the play is highlighted in many ways due to Shakespeare??™s portrayal of life in the Elizabethan era. This is demonstrated within the relationships between the daughters and their fathers in both plays. The Patriarchal Society played a huge part in both plays as the fathers were the dominant characters that ordered their daughters around and laid down the laws in their families.
In Shakespeare??™s play ???Merchant of Venice??™, Shakespeare demonstrates conflict within families and characters. The relationship between Portia and her father is proven to be good because even after her father dies, Portia respects her fathers wishes to choose a suitor for her. During this time era, fathers would typically choose who his daughter would marry because women were subservient to men and it was considered wrong for a woman to run away with a man whom was not chosen by their father. Therefore, by Portia agreeing to let her father choose whom she marries even after he has passed, it is seen as the right thing to do.
However, in Romeo and Juliet, Juliet and Capulet??™s relationship starts well 0999Capulet wanting to disown Juliet from their family. In Act 1 Scene 2, Capulet shows his care for Juliet as he tries to convince Paris that she is too young for marriage. ??? My child is yet a stranger to the world??™ implies that Capulet would rather Paris waited for Juliet as she is only young and has not yet explored/the world. The word ???stranger??™ gives the impression that Juliet does not know her place in the world and that it would be unfair to marry her off at this early stage of her life. Capulet later goes on to say, ???But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart??™ and this is evidence to say that Capulet is concerned for his daughter??™s welfare and would only agree to this marriage if Juliet were also happy with the decision.
In Act 3 Scene 4, after Tybalt??™s sudden death, Capulet decides that he will arrange the marriage between Juliet and Paris because he assumes it will cheer her up. Shakespeare demonstrates dramatic irony here, as the audience already know that Juliet was recently married to Romeo. Even as Capulet plans Juliet??™s marriage, she is eagerly awaiting her husband Romeo in her bedroom. It indicates conflict because the audience know a dispute will follow shortly after Capulet discovers the truth. The quote ???Acquaint her here of my son Paris??™ love??™ is spoken during Capulet??™s speech and the word ???son??™ particularly stands out because Capulet already sees Paris as a son-in-law. It suggests he is pleased with himself after making his decision and giving consent to the marriage between his daughter Juliet and Paris. Capulet also has no doubts that Juliet will do as he says because she had previously stated that she would do anything to be the perfect daughter. This demonstrates conflict because the audience know that Juliet will not be happy to learn she is due to be married, and this will cause an argument between her and her father, which means that she is then faced with the decision on whether to run away from her family or not. Tension is built because the audience do not know how Capulet will react to the news that his daughter has disregarded the Patriarchal society and wed a member of his sworn enemy- the Montagues. ??? I think she will be ruled, in all respects by me; nay more, I doubt it not??™- is an example of Capulet being certain that Juliet will obey him. Shakespeare often wrote about fathers who wished to dominate their daughters??™ lives.
This could be compared to Jessica and Shylock??™s relationship because the audience also knew that Jessica was planning to run away, and she was not just rejecting her fathers but was leaving with Lorenzo, a Christian boy-therefore a sworn enemy of Shylocks. This also meant that Jessica was rejecting her religion.
When Capulet discovers that Juliet has no intention of marrying Paris, he is furious and threatens to disown her from the family. When Shylock find that Jessica has ran away, he wishes her dead. This implies that both Capulet and Shylock feel not only betrayed but humiliated at the fact that their daughters have disobeyed them. Juliet, Jessica and Portia all feel the constraints of their fathers in the plays and Shakespeare chose soliloquies to highlight their discontent. ???Deny thy father and refuse thy name??™- spoken by Juliet links to the patriarchal society because she knows that what she has done is wrong and against what is expected of an Elizabethan daughter.
The strained relationship between Shylock and Jessica, and the relationship between Portia and her deceased father, further illustrates the demanding and unwavering standards set by the patriarchal society of Shakespeare??™s time. However, the strict ruling does not control some daughters, as proven in Shylock and Jessica??™s relationship. Despite his attempts to control her, Jessica will not be kept from the man she loves, and she vows to Lorenzo to “end this strife, [and] become a Christian and [his] loving wife.??™- meaning that she does not care that she is disregarding everything a girl in this time era should follow, and this highlights conflict because both Capulet and Shylock have brought their daughters up to obey them and instead they have ignored their demands and gone behind their fathers backs. In both plays, Capulet, Shylock and Portia??™s father, have all chosen a suitor for their daughter but overall, only Portia accepted the decision and let her destiny be solely ruled by men.
The quote ???there is some ill a ??“brewing towards my rest??™ is used to build dramatic tension in the scene and dramatic irony is used because the audience knows more than Shylock, e.g. that Jessica has already planned to run away. It highlights conflict between Shylock and Jessica because Shylock has a feeling that she is about to leave and is concerned for Jessica, whereas she plans to run away with a Christian boy, therefore rejecting her religion.
Shylock??™s ???ill-feeling??™ in act 2 scene 5 is justified as a result of previous events with Jessica wanting to be with Lorenzo. Jessica previously describes her home as ???hell??™ and Shylock can clearly see that she is not happy but chooses to ignore it. The ???ill-feeling??™ could also be because of the fact that Shylock has just made a deal with Antonio about ???repaying??™ the loan Shylock lent him and knows that if he does not get the money back he will have to kill someone, and even though Shylock and Antonio are not friends, this worries him further.
In particular, the word ???brewing??™ stands out in the sentence as it suggests that Shylock feels something is going to be wrong instead of him KNOWING that something bad has already happened. It shows conflict because it proves Shylock does not trust Jessica and feels she is going to go behind his back.