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As mentioned above, this was extremely unusual in Elizabethan England.
In fact there is one case when an English woman, Millicent Porter, a seamstress, slept with a black man and had to do a public penance for it (Elizabethan England Life).
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.
Our modern day attitudes to marriage differ greatly from the Elizabethan attitudes that are displayed in William Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
Most noticeably is the fact that Paris went to Capulet to ask for Juliet’s hand in marriage before he even approached Juliet, something that happens very rarely, if ever, nowadays.
The last major difference in attitudes to marriage between the Elizabethans and us is the way in which the Catholic Church approaches marriage.
Friar Lawrence, who seems to be the equivalent to a modern day parish priest as he is the one who both Romeo and Juliet go to for confessions, agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet without their parents consent.
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.This was a set way that the upper class should behave in relation to love and what we would call dating.It is a European tradition that originated in the Middle Ages and was still popular in the 16th Century.Interracial marriages were considered extremely taboo. The individuals had little choice as to who they would marry. Yet another example of these traditions was the respectable treatment of women.While the husband was in charge of his wife, as was the father, the husband were expected to treat the women right (Elizbethi).