Green Sickness Carrion

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“Romeo and Juliet” is a tragic, romantic play written by William Shakespeare. The play is set in the town of Verona, were rivalry has thrived between two families; the Capulets and the Montages. Romeo who is Montague meets Juliet a Capulet, at a party. Fate has brought them together and they both immediately fall in love. Later they find out there families have a eternal feud.

Romeo decides he loves her never the less and they confess love for each other and decide to marry the next day. Friar Laurence agrees for them to get married in effort for the feuding between the families to end. At the same time the Capulets are planning Juliet marriage to Paris.

Juliet does not what to marry Paris as she is in love with Romeo and decides to take some fake sleeping potion so everyone thinks she is dead.

She arranges Friar Laurence to send a message to Romeo to let him know that she is faking her death. But unfortunately Romeo does not receive the message and believes that Juliet has died. Therefore he drinks poison and dies. When Juliet’s sleeping potion wears off, she is awaken to find the corpse of her love. Then she proceeds to kill herself with Romeos dragger. After the death of the ill-fated lovers, the two families make peace and share their sorrow.

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The harshness and strictness of the parents caused the death of Romeo and Juliet.

Out You Green Sickness Carrion

In act 3, scene 5 of “Romeo and Juliet”, William Shakespeare has revealed the stridency of medieval parents. Medieval parents virtually held absolute power over their children, especially their daughters as they were their parent’s possession from birth to marriage. Parents got their children married to whoever they chose, at early ages such as, 13.Wealthy parents got their children married to a prosperous and affluent person so, that they gained more respect and pride from the society. Parents expected their children to always be obedient, respectful and never disagree to their commands. Children in medieval times, had to do whatever their parents told them, whenever they told them. It was a harsh life for children compared to children today, who can do whatever they want, whenever they want .Today’s parents let their children run their life in their own hands.

Parents give their guidance, only if their children want to as children have their own independent lives, they chose who and when to get married. Parents today are cooperative compared to medieval parents who were strict. Below, I have explained some language devices Shakespeare has used in “Romeo and Juliet”, to show what the Capulets were like as medieval parents. In the scene Juliet disagrees to an arranged marriage to a wealthy man called Paris, Lord Capulet and Lady Capulet are extremely outraged as their verbal language shows how astringent medieval parents were.

Shakespeare uses a range of ultimatums to interpret typical examples of medieval parents. For example, Lord Capulet frustratingly says to Juliet “I tell thee what; get thee to the church O’Thursday; / Or never look me in the face” and “Gaze were you will, you shall not house with me”. This illustrates the ferociousness of Lord Capulet, who will not accept Juliet as his daughter or allow her to live with him unless she agrees to marry Paris,who is very high class ad well known in the society. Medieval fathers brought enormous pressure on their daughters to marry the man he chose unlike parents nowadays would be more considerate to accept their children’s point of view.

Mockery is another language device Shakespeare uses to emphasise the Capulets as traditional medieval parents. For example, Lord Capulet imitates her childish voice and says” To answer, I’ll not wed, I am too young, I pray pardon me” to Juliet. Medieval parents neglected their children’s opinions and insulted them unlike parents today who are more supportive. The quote above demonstrates the fractious nature of Lord Capulet who assumes that Juliet is too young and too childish because she is refusing the good fortune offered to her.

Another language device that Shakespeare employs to show the Capulets as typical examples of medieval parents is threatening language. Capulet shows impatience, while speaking to Juliet for example, “Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage/ You tallow face! “. “Green sickness-carrion” is a double insult; it means she looks as green as something that has been dead for long and she is afflicted with sickness that comes from being a girl. Another example is, “To go with Paris to Saint Peters Church/Or I will drag thee hurdle thither”, Capulet is humiliating Juliet and threatening to drag her on a prisoners sledge to the church. These quotes show that medieval parents were extremely selfish and narrow minded unlike parents today who understand their children’s rights.

A further device Shakespeare has used is rhetorical questions to portray the Capulets as medieval parents. Rhetorical questions were used to emphasise the Capulets outrage by Juliet’s dishonour for example, “How, how, how, how, chopp’d logic? What is this?” This argument is considered useless in Capulets mind. Another example is, “Soft! take me with you, wife, How will she none? doth she not give us thanks?” This emphasises that Capulet is astonished, he expected Juliet to thank him profusely and to be proud to be Paris’s wife. This defines that medieval parents had strength over their children, who had no rights to do any on their chose. Nowadays children feel freer to choose their own paths without hesitation.

Parents nowadays are more supportive unlike medieval parents who were very uncooperative. Shakespeare has used different language devices to imitate Capulets as medieval parents such as, uses of lists. The use of lists introduces the irritation of Capulets for example “God breads makes me mad/ Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play.” This illustrates that Capulet worked really hard and spent a lot of time to find Juliet a husband but Juliet does not appreciate all he had done for her. Another list used in the scene was, “And you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend;/ And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets”, this means that if Juliet does not agree to marry Paris, he will not accept her as his daughter and will not give her any support her, in her future life.

Another language device Shakespeare uses to outline Capulets as a medieval parent is alliteration. Examples of alliteration were used when Capulets gets ill-tempered by Juliet’s imprudence and sarcastically says, “Mistress Minion”. This quotes that Juliet is a spoilt child. Another example used was “Fettle you fine joints” which means prepare for what you have ahead of you. The point that Shakespeare is making is that parents use to low grade their children and make them feel unwanted, unlike parents today who want their children to feel comfortable and wanted at home.

Metaphors are another language device Shakespeare uses to display the Capulets as medieval parents. For example Lady Capulet irritatingly says to Juliet “I would the fool were married to her grave” .The point Shakespeare is making is that traditional medieval parents were very cold and unpleasant if they didn’t get their way. The quote above means that if Juliet does not marry Paris the thing for her to do is die, her parents will feel shameful and deeply insulted if she rejects Paris, as Paris’s family will no longer respect the Capulets.

Shakespeare uses exclamation marks to indicate Capulets as medieval parents. For example Shakespeare uses exclamation marks to emphasise Capulets strong feelings such as,” Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!” This shows that Capulet was threatening Juliet by making unpleasant remarks. This shows that medieval parents did not think about there children’s feeling unlike parents today who understand their children’s feeling very well.

In conclusion medieval expected too much of their children and didn’t understand their feelings as they were treated in this way when they were children. Life was hard for medieval children; they had a lot to cope with unlike children today who are very enthusiastic.

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Green Sickness Carrion. (2019, Dec 06). Retrieved from

Green Sickness Carrion
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