William Shakespeare 's The Elizabethan Era

1548 Words Dec 5th, 2014 7 Pages
Although the importance and presence of love in a person’s life over the ages has not changed, the role of love in one’s life has changed drastically in an individual’s personal life, specifically in marriage. During the Elizabethan era, it was “considered foolish to marry for love” (Ros). Fifteenth century marriage was seen as a means of gaining property, friends, and allies; therefore, marriages among wealthy landowners were more commonly arranged than those among people from lower classes. Many couples would not even meet before their wedding day and they were often very young, as young as twelve years old for the girls. Under these conditions, it was very uncommon to have a marriage filled with love, some marriages even ended tragically as in the case with marriages like King Henry VII and Anne of Cleves (“Elizabethan Wedding Customs”). Elizabethan people believed that a marriage was a union in God and therefore took place within a church so that God be witness. The weddings were always a religious ceremony, and often a very solemn one. Christian teaching regarding marriage at the time was that marriage’s purpose is for, “procreation of children, regulation of sexual activity, and mutual comfort and support” (“Elizabethan Attitudes: An Anthology).
In examining the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, one of the main conflicts of the story is the arranged marriage between Juliet and Paris. The union between the two encapsulates many of the ideals of marriage at the time.…
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