Lord Capulet

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Marriage, Characters in Romeo and Juliet Pages: 3 (919 words) Published: December 9, 2012
Father
At first, he seems like a pretty good dad. When Paris comes sniffing around for thirteen-year-old Juliet's hand in marriage, Capulet puts him of, citing Juliet's young age and even suggesting that he'd like his daughter to marry for "love" (1.2.2-3). This, by the way, is pretty uncommon in Shakespeare's plays. Most fathers (like Baptista Minola in The Taming of the Shrew) broker marriages like business deals, without ever consulting their daughters.

But Lord Capulet doesn't play the good father for long. Paris eventually wears him down and convinces him that he and Juliet should wed (3.4.2). (By this point, Juliet is already be secretly married to Romeo.) The thing is, Juliet's not exactly down with marrying Paris and things get ugly when she tells her father as much.

Lord Capulet's response to Juliet's "disobedience" is so violently harsh that we begin to see him as a bit of a tyrant. We see the physical aggression most prominently in the big, confrontational scene with Juliet over whether or not she will marry Paris. When Juliet refuses, Capulet screams, "Out you baggage, / you tallow face" (3.5.3) and says, "My fingers itch" when Juliet stands up, which may suggest that he's prone to physical violence His attitude towards Juliet shows this mixture of traits also. When Paris asks for her hand in marriage, he says that she is too young and that Paris should let two more years pass. He also seems to say that his agreement is only a part of such an arrangement and that Juliet must agree, also. Yet as negotiations with Paris continue in Act III, Capulet assumes that Juliet will do exactly as he wishes. In his conversation with Paris, he also shows more concern about his image than about his daughter's feelings. He thinks she is extremely grieved by Tybalt's death, not at all suspecting the real cause of her grief, Romeo's banishment. He appears to be more concerned about how the scheduling of the marriage will affect townspeople's attitudes towards...
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