OF THE BABY NAME JULIET
Apparently Shakespeare liked the name Juliet as much as we do. He used this beautiful name again for a minor character in his 1603 play “Measure for Measure”. Juliet is the medieval version of what we might call a Baby Mama today. She’s Claudio’s baby mama meaning he and Juliet – gasp – fornicated outside of their marriage. You may not think this is any big deal, but we’re talking about the early 17th century here when such activity was against the law and so Angelo sentences Claudio to death while Juliet is sent away to prison where she’ll eventually have her baby. As a minor character, we don’t see much of her (like we do of Isabella and Mariana), but she reappears in the final scene when the Duke of Vienna announces that she and Claudio can be together. At least this Juliet got her “happily ever after”.
Juliet Capulet is half of the ill-fated couple in Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, probably written between 1591 and 1595. At the play’s beginning, Juliet is a young, rather docile girl (not quite fourteen), obedient and ready to consider her parents’ choice for a suitor, yet demonstrating just a touch of reserved rebellion under the surface. After she meets and falls in love with Romeo, her every action seems to augur the woman she would have become if fate had treated her differently. Once equipped with the moral backbone that her love for Romeo gives her, there is no stopping this firebrand. She manages to defy the strictures of the generations-old feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, to declare her love for Romeo, to marry him and consummate the vows and, ultimately, to make the noblest sacrifice of all for him – her death. And no pretty poisoning death for her – she impales herself upon a dagger. All of this over the course of a few days! It is not that we would wish such a fate upon any fair maidens of thirteen of our acquaintance, but – really – could anyone you know fill the bill?
Romeo is perhaps one of the most recognized literary figures of all time. He is one of the two central figures in William Shakespeare’s 1596 tragedy, “Romeo and Juliet”. The story can best be summed up by the play’s final two lines: “For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo”. Romeo Montague is the teen-aged son of an affluent family involved in a bitter rivalry with the Capulets (Juliet’s peeps). Unfortunately for Romeo, when he lays eyes upon the fair Juliet there’s simply no turning back. The guy is seriously whipped and forgets about his crush on Rosaline in a Verona minute. He’s the typical teenager: emotional, impetuous, lovesick and overly-dramatic. Romeo evens the score for his buddy Mercutio’s death by killing Tybalt and is thus banished from Verona – and Juliet’s domineering parents arrange to have her married to Paris (not knowing she’s already eloped with Romeo). This is a recipe for disaster. Enter the benevolent Friar Laurence who attempts to help the young lovers back together again – a well-intentioned plan with tragic consequences. But then again, their fates were already written in the stars.
Tucker Crowe is the singer-songwriter in Nick Hornby’s 2009 novel, “Juliet, Naked”, who is the object of obsession for one of his fans, Duncan, and the object of scorn for Duncan’s long-term, long-suffering girlfriend, Annie. Tucker is a has-been one-time music star of the eighties, who has had many relationships, fathered several children and mysteriously “retired” at the height of his fame. His adoring fans, foremost of whom is Duncan, wait for his reappearance with bated breath. They may get that with the release of an acoustic version of his most popular album, “Julia”. Or they may not. Tucker is, when all is said and done, only a man, like roughly half of the world’s population. He eats, sleeps and suffers disappointments as regularly as any other average Joe, and puts his pants on in the same old way.