The complexity and social change in fashionable actions and gestures, along with the breakdown in generic and linguistic codes, signals a radical ambivalence in the behaviour of the young people in the play, but it is also clear that Romeo and his friends, and Juliet, have a large measure of control over their actions. The ambivalence within society gives way in the two central character-parts of the play to a rhetoric that can be read as profoundly confident, as each develops strategies to preserve a sense of selfhood in the face of social pressure. This development is more detailed in the case of Juliet, but with both parts a central vocabulary for exploring the ways in which the character negotiates social ambivalence and breakdown is based on the theory of the humours – the medical understanding of the body in the early modern period.