Romeo and Juliet marry for love, a choice that is standard today. But in the world of the play, marriage for love, rather than money or social position, was a radical and dangerous choice. Romeo and Juliet, the children of rival families, fall in love against their parents' wishes and marry in secret. Their union reflects a new focus on individual passion and inner conviction – and in the play, it comes dangerously in conflict with social and familial expectations. Romeo and Juliet pay a heavy price for marrying for love – their clandestine union propels the lovers towards their tragic deaths.
Juliet's conflict with her parents about whether or not she should marry Paris reveals that, for Juliet, marriage is a way of formally recognizing a shared emotional bond (love). For her parents, however, marriage is a means of securing wealth, status, and stability.
When Romeo and Juliet marry for love, they redefine what marriage is all about in the 16th century (social status, economic security, and pedigree).