Lord Capulet Essay
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 the seriousness or casualness of his grieving for Tybalt.
As Juliet and her parents discuss the arranged marriage to Paris and Juliet’s unwillingness to participate in the wedding is revealed, Capulet threatens to throw Juliet out and let her die in the streets. Even after this confrontation with Juliet, Capulet continues with wedding preparations, indicating his complete disregard for Juliet’s hopes for her future. When Juliet pretends that she has just returned from confession to Friar Lawrence and is sorry for her stubbornness, Capulet is so pleased he changes the wedding date, demonstrating again how out of touch he is with his daughter’s true feelings.
Capulet believes he knows what is best for Juliet. He says that his consent to the marriage depends upon what she wants and tells Count Paris that if he wants to marry her he should wait a while then ask her. Later, however, when Juliet is grieving over Romeo’s being sent away, Capulet thinks her sorrow is due to Tybalt’s death and in a misguided attempt to cheer her up, he wants to surprise her by arranging a marriage between her and Count Paris – the catch is that she has to be “ruled” by her father and to accept the proposal.
When she refuses to become Paris’s “joyful bride”, saying that she can “never be proud of what she hates”, he becomes furious, threatening to make her a street urchin, calling her “hilding” (meaning “slut” or “whore”), “unworthy”, “young baggage” and “disobedient wretch” (along with “green-sickness carrion” and “tallow-face”), as well as saying that God’s giving Juliet to them was a “curse” and that he now realizes that he and his wife had one child too many when Juliet was born Husband Lord Capulet’s relationship with his wife is also up for debate.
Lady Capulet is probably much younger than he, since she was married to him when she was about twelve years old. Needless to say, this age difference seems to have caused some tension in their marriage. “Too soon marred are those so early made [wives],” he tells Paris, clearly referencing his own wife Citizen A leading citizen of Verona and head of one of the two feuding families. His attitudes seem to display a mixture of qualities rather than conveying a sense of consistency of action.
When the audience first sees him, he is calling for a sword to join in the fighting of the servants and young men in the opposing households. He acts this way even though he is an older man and a more dignified behavior would most likely be more appropriate for his age. However, he is concerned with maintaining order in his own house, especially after the prince’s promise to execute any disturbers of the peace. Thus, he takes pains to prevent Tybalt from starting a brawl in his house at the party.
Capulet is also motivated by his desire to appear as a good host. He jokes with the guests, compliments the dancers, orders the servants to regulate the heat in the room better by subduing the fire, and takes a peaceful attitude towards Romeo’s uninvited presence at the feast. As a citizen, Lord Capulet is involved in the ancient grudge that has plagued Verona. Due to his lack of maturity and constant fighting with the Montagues, the fued continues. In the end, Lord Capulet becomes remorseful for his role in the death of Romeo and Juliet.