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Suicide often affects a wider range of people than the person himself. In the case of Kate Spade’s death, many people were deeply saddened by the news that she took her own life. Kate Spade suffered from depression and anxiety, but she could never make that apparent to the public because she felt like she needed to appear happy. Ironically, even though society grieved her death, the pressures from society caused her to end her life in the first place. Similarly, in Shakespeare’s play ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Verona pressures these star-crossed lovers to fall in line with its patriarchy. That is why, answering the question of why Juliet decided to fake her own death and as a result die anyway, I would say undoubtedly the toxic society of Verona.

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The oppressive patriarchy in Verona causes Juliet to consider death as a way to escape the arranged marriage to Paris. Because she is already Romeo’s wife, she feels she must flee from wedding Paris. Juliet’s patriarchal father shuts her out after she begs him not to make her go through his arrangement. As she offers to explain why she will not marry Paris, her father calls her a “Disobedient wretch!/ I tell thee what – get thee to church o’ Thursday/ Or never after look me in the face” (Act III, Scene V, 161-163). Juliet realizes that she must consult her nurse or the friar to avoid this forced marriage because she does not have her father’s support. As an alternative to death, Juliet believes her nurse will help her preserve the original relationship with Romeo. Her nurse seems to always be there for Juliet but suddenly betrays her because Capulet insists on this wedding. After the nurse praises Paris and advises her to forget Romeo, Juliet gets angry and says: “Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain./ I’ll to the friar to know his remedy./ If all else fail, myself have the power to die” (Act III, Scene V, 242-244). Because disobeying a man is insulting in a patriarchal society, the nurse believes Capulet will punish her if she supports Juliet, so her sudden betrayal forces Juliet to choose between consulting the friar or death. Juliet fights the patriarchy when she prefers to seek the friar for help or die instead of quietly marrying Paris. Capulet’s male dominance in the family forces Juliet to go behind the back of Verona’s society by considering death.

Society itself is to blame for Juliet’s fated death. The oppressive patriarchy in Verona forces Juliet to see death as a way to escape her arranged marriage to Paris and be with the one she truly loves. Despite her attempts to rebel, Juliet ultimately becomes a victim of this society.

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