A Character Profile of Romeo's Juliet

Scene from Romeo and Juliet
Corbis via Getty Images / Getty Images

Juliet, from Romeo and Juliet, is the young teenage daughter of Capulet and Lady Capulet. At age 13, Juliet is beautiful, innocent, and at a marriageable age.

Before meeting Romeo, Juliet had thought little about love and marriage. Her parents, on the other hand, are keen to marry her to a rich and well-connected husband and have chosen Count Paris, who has expressed his interest in Juliet, as their daughter's future husband. Whether Juliet likes him is not a concern to anyone but her.

Meeting Romeo Changes Juliet's Life

However, Juliet soon stumbles upon her ​fate when she meets Romeo and instantly falls in love with him, despite his being the son of her family’s enemy, Lord Montague. “My only love sprung from my only hate,” she exclaims.

Like many women in Shakespeare's plays, Juliet has very little freedom, but she is connected to the outside world through her closest friend, Nurse. Juliet, though, is prepared to abandon Nurse entirely when Nurse turns against Romeo. Juliet matures throughout the plot of the play and is eventually prepared to abandon her family in order to be with Romeo.

Juliet, a Complex Character

At the beginning of the play, Juliet Capulet appears to be a shy and innocent young girl, but the depth of her character shows as she meets Romeo, defies her father, marries Romeo, and ultimately commits suicide.

While appearing quiet and obedient, Juliet displays inner strength, intelligence, bravery, wit, and independence. It is, in fact, Juliet who asks Romeo to marry her. Juliet dispels the notion of shyness in scenes where she speaks as much as Romeo and with the same degree of confidence.

Juliet shows her inner strength and independent nature in her decision to die rather marry Paris: "If all else fail, myself have power to die." By so doing, she takes control of her own destiny, rather than allow her life to be controlled by others, as so many young women in her circumstances at that time would.

Juliet's Quotes of Character

Juliet's own words demonstrate her strength of character, independence, and growing maturity, especially regarding love. Here are some examples:

Well, do not swear. Although I joy in thee, I have no joy of this contract tonight. It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, too like the lightning, which doth cease to be ere one can say 'It lightens.' Sweet, good night.

My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me that I must love a loathed enemy.

Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed. If that thy bent of love be honorable, thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow, by one that I'll procure to come to thee, where and what time thou wilt perform the rite, and all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay and follow thee my lord throughout the world.