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Why Did Shakespeare Make Juliet Thirteen Years Old?

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Why did Shakespeare make Juliet thirteen years old?Whenever I lectured on Romeo and Juliet, I always started by asking “Why did Shakespeare make Juliet thirteen years old?”  As I fielded answers from students they generally fell into two broad categories.
In Shakespeare's time, people married young.  Not really.Category 1: “People in Shakespeare’s time married young.”  Actually, they didn’t.  Shakespeare himself was 18 when he married Anne Hathaway who was 26 and pregnant with their first child, Susanna, but Shakespeare needed permission from his father to marry at such a young age.  Shakespeare’s own daughters, Susanna and Judith, were married at 24 and 31 respectively.  
Our ideas of English girls’ marrying at thirteen (or younger) being common practice was likely provoked by infamous cases of royal betrothals.  For example, Mary Queen of Scots was sent to France to marry Francis, the Dauphin, when she was six.  She married him when she was sixteen and he was fourteen—he died thre…