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This was a very serious threat to Juliet as if her father was to disown her she would be forced to live out on the streets as a prostitute as no man would marry her and she would therefore have no means of support or money.
Now the church have premarital courses for engaged couples to make sure that they are definitely ready to get married and also couples nowadays get married a lot longer after they get engaged in contrast with the 16th Century.
Although Friar Lawrence’s actions may have been affected by his hope that this was a chance to end the feud between the Capulet’s and the Montague’s and the fact that he could be remembered for being the one who brought the two families together.
This action would not only seem ludicrous nowadays but at Romeo and Juliet’s age it is also illegal.
He also does not tell them to go away and think about it or to consider what a big step they were about to take.
He verbally abuses Juliet calling her a ‘mistress minion’ and a ‘green-sickness carrion’.
He then threatens Juliet that if she does not do as he wishes, and marries Paris, he would let her ‘hang, beg, starve, die in the streets’ but he would ‘not acknowledge thee’.
I think the main reason for the difference in marriage between Shakespeare’s time and modern day is that women now have a lot more rights and say in their life than then.
This is most noticeable in the way that Capulet decides, after Tybalt’s death, that it would be in Juliet’s best interests to marry Paris, in what seems to be the act of a loving father trying to make his daughter happy.
I think this statement illustrates the power of wealthy fathers at the time that a mother says that she would rather her daughter were dead than for her to disagree with Capulet’s wishes.
When Lord Capulet hears of what is considered Juliet’s disobedience, but what would considered her right if she was living now, he shows his true colours and becomes extremely threatening and violent.