I'm in the last category. My favourite characters are Juliet and, shockingly enough, Paris. But first, Juliet:
Headcanon: Juliet is a feminist and fighting for her own liberation.
In her first appearance, Juliet seems the orthodox girl, not at all denying her marriage. But in the next scene, a guy is actually interested in her and not her fortune and she takes that chance. In the balcony scene, she proposes marriage to him.
Marriage is really the only way for Juliet to escape her father's authority in the situation, and Romeo's head over heels for her. It's an amazing chance and the realist in me applauds her for taking it. It's also really clear that Juliet takes the initiative in their relationship.
And she defends their relationship. She defends it to Paris, whom I personally like, and snarks at him in such a gloriously brazen manner. She defends it to her parents, she defends it literally to death
Oh, and let's talk about that potion. Her father literally threatens to disinherit her, her mother and her nurse abandon her, and what does Juliet do? Take matters into her own hands. Instead of whining and moping and killing people like Romeo. She fights for her liberation, for her only hope at freedom and love. Juliet isn't a lovestruck teenager, she's a woman taking back control of her own life. (Tweet this!)
Headcanon: Paris would have been Juliet's happy ending. (tweet this)
Let's make it clear: Paris is not a very nice person. Not. He lays claim to Juliet's face and love the very first time they meet. He makes it pretty clear he's marrying him because she's rich and pretty.
Paris is no Romeo, to throw himself 120% in love and forget everything except the girl. Paris is no Juliet, to go up against the patriarchy and make a stand. But here's why Paris doesn't understand privilege: he has it.
Picture a young man, kin to the ruling prince. Of course he feels entitled. But after he chooses Juliet, he commits himself to loving her. He doesn't send a servant to Friar Laurence, he goes himself. He—if clumsily—flirts with Juliet when they meet.
Imagine if they'd married. Fiery, brazen Juliet commanding her meeker husband. Juliet is pragmatic and intelligent, she would've educated Paris. And if he would die for her, then in another life, he might give her sovereignty in their household. They may not be lovers, may not be husband and wife, but they would be king and queen, joint monarchs.
A marriage between Juliet and Paris would have been parent-approved, and Juliet would still be her own person. Yes, the family feud would go on, but five fewer people are dead, and my darling Juliet has her happy ending.
(I've actually got a Tumblr post on why Paris ranks on my top ten fav characters.)
BUT. But I don't ship them together. I ship Juliet with eternal happiness, because that's what she deserves. Paris isn't the one she chose and I'm up with that — Paris is only a what-might-have-been.
Is Juliet a feminist? Would Paris be a good match for her? Share in the comments!
And don't forget to drop by the other #LitLove posts!
Taylor: A Midsummer Night's Dream
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