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I Am Juliet by Jackie French

July 2, 2014

I Am Juliet by Jackie French. Pub. Angus & Robertson, 2014. 

JulietThis is the story of Juliet Capulet the young girl from Verona who had the great romance with Romeo only to have it shattered by family differences, unfortunate misunderstandings and tragedy.

This is Juliet’s story and faithful to Shakespeare’s play it is, even to the extent of quoting lines from it and from some of Shakespeare’s verse.

Jackie French emphasises the real tragedy of this love story in the Romeo and Juliet were so young even for Shakespeare’s Age, and were not in control of their own lives. Others made important decisions for them which heightens the tragedy in a way Shakespeare’s never pointed out.

Juliet was waited on hand and foot and had no concept of what real life was all about. At 13 going on 14 she knew nothing of sex only a fantasy version of what love entailed. When she met Romeo she was blown away by feelings she couldn’t contain.

It was an era when women had little power except between the sheets. A woman was was only remembered if she was a queen or a saint. The prevailing opinion was if you filled a ladies head with too much learning you would send her mad. It was a daughter’s duty to do what her family desired, they could hold no power or property and to marry well was essential.

The purity of the love between Romeo and Juliet is not tarnished. It is magic when they are together.

Juliet was groping in the dark. Read her story it is brilliant. For high school students really but I bet Intermediate school girls will seek after it to. Boys I hope but I doubt it.

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