‘Romeo and Juliet’ is set during the Elizabethan period. During this period, daughters had to marry according to their father’s wishes. This was a Patriarchal Society. The father would decide the husband because he thought his choice would be suitable.
It was unheard of for women to refuse marriage, but if they did, they would face being disowned by their family and would have nowhere to go. I don’t think the Elizabethan period was fair. Women were considered to be ‘inferior’. They were controlled by their sons, brothers, husbands and fathers. They couldn’t have opinions, views or even a job. Basically, they were not allowed to live their own lives.At the start of the play when Paris first asks for Juliet’s hand in marriage, Capulet seems to be trying to put him off.
He replies to Paris’ suit by saying “My child is yet a stranger in the world; She hath not seen the change of fourteen years.” He is telling Paris that Juliet is still very young. The average age for marriage during the Elizabethan period was 19-20 years old and Juliet was just 14. Capulet is unsure: we can see this when he tells Paris “And too soon marr’d are those so early made.
” He is suggesting that when a girl gets married so young, later in life they could be psychologically and physically affected.We get the impression that maybe his own wife, Lady Capulet was married young or maybe a previous bride of Capulet, and so he is showing he does care for Juliet and does not want anything to happen to her. Although Capulet is not sure about Paris’ suit, he does not know if he will ever find another man as perfect as Paris, so his emphasis is very much on delaying thoughts of marriage rather than putting Paris off completely.By the end of Act 3 scene 4 however, Capulet has changed his mind about Paris’ proposal. The reason why is unclear, although we think it may be because of Tybalts death. Capulet could be trying to cheer everyone up, including Juliet. This idea is put across when Capulet says “Of my child’s love: I think she will be ruled in all respects by me; nay, more, I doubt it not.” He is contradicting himself here, in Act 1 scene 2 Capulet seems to be putting off a wedding.
Has Tybalts’ death changed his mind? Capulet suggests Juliet will be happy about Paris’ proposal because he thinks she is upset about Tybalts’ death, and that getting married will take her mind off it and cheer her up. However, we know she is really upset about Romeo’s banishment to Mantua. We also know that she will not be able to get married because she is secretly married to Romeo, so it would be illegal, not to mention eternally damning, to marry again. Capulet now shows affection to Paris by saying “Acquaint her here of my son Paris’ love.” By saying “my son” Capulet is showing he approves of Paris and is sure there will be a marriage very soon.
Lady Capulet’s feelings about the marriage are quite clear. She wants Juliet to be happy but she knows she won’t be if she marries Paris. This shows us that Lady Capulet cares for Juliet.
She has secretly sided with Juliet, but she is also doing everything Capulet tells her to including “Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed,prepare her, wife, against this wedding day.” Here, Capulet is telling Lady Capulet to go to Juliet before she goes to bed and tell her she is to marry Paris. Lady Capulet does this the following morning. As I said before, she knows Juliet will be unhappy about the marriage but does as Capulet says because she is frightened about not only speaking her own mind, but Juliet’s as well. Of course, this could also be due to her living in a patriarchal society. Therefore she would probably never dream of speaking her own mind.
However, I do think Lady Capulet agrees with the marriage. I think this because when she goes to tell Juliet about the marriage she says “I’ll tell thee joyful tidings, girl.”This shows us Lady Capulet is quite happy for the marriage to go ahead. Maybe she thinks the same as Capulet.
Will they find another man as perfect as Paris? When Lady Capulet hears Juliet’s reaction and sees Capulet coming she says “Here comes your father; tell him so yourself, and see how he will take it at your hands.” This tells us that Lady Capulet fears telling Capulet the news herself as she knows what could happen, and she is keen to distance herself as much as possible from a situation that she knows will anger her husband.When Capulet first enters the room, he sees Juliet is upset and presumes it is because of Tybalt’s death. He says “How now! A conduit girl? What, still in tears?” A “conduit” is a pipe from which water always flows.
By referring to Juliet as a “conduit”, he is suggesting that she is crying too much. Capulet seems to suddenly think that she should now have stopped grieving and be calm, with the wedding news. He asks Lady Capulet “Have you deliver’d to her our decree?” Lady Capulet simply replies “Ay, sir, but she will have none, she gives you thanks.” Capulet had been expecting words of joy from his daughter, but instead she was refusing to marry. Juliet tries to explain to her father why she refuses to marry Paris: “Proud can I never be of what I hate; but thankful even for hate that is meant love.” By saying this, she means she can never be proud to be Paris’ wife; in fact she hates the idea of marrying him; and yet her fear of her father is clear in the way she is keen to express her gratitude and acknowledge her father’s good intentions.Although she thanks her father for taking the time to arrange the wedding, Capulet does not want to hear it. He starts to shout.
“How, how, how, how, chopp’d logic! What is this? “Proud” and “I thank you” and “I thank you not”; and yet “not proud.” Mistress minion, you. Capulet refers to Juliet as a “minion,” which means spoilt child. Capulet has reacted this way because they live in a patriarchal society where Fathers decide the husband so if a daughter refuses, in this society, he would have every right to be angry. Essentially, Juliet’s refusal is unthinkable, almost like a slave refusing to do its master’s bidding.
Juliet is thankful about her fathers’ request, but she is also upset about it. Juliet tries to talk to Capulet to calm him but he does not let her get one word in. Capulet, as we know from earlier, is not happy about Juliet’s refusal.
He shows this by using sarcasm and by quoting what Juliet has said, as we said above.Capulet’s anger has now built into a rage. We have already heard him call Juliet a “minion”.
He then says to her “Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither.” A “hurdle” was a type of punishment on which prisoners rode on to the gallows whilst spectators watched and laughed at them. It is perhaps fitting to think of Juliet as a prisoner as she is stuck in her situation.
Capulet continues with more name-calling. “Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage! You tallow-face!” “Carrion” is something that has been dead a long time.By saying “Green-sickness carrion,” it means Juliet looks as green as something that has been dead a long time.
“Baggage” is used when referring to someone as a waste of space. “Tallow” is animal fat. Capulet may have used this word because Juliet looks pale from crying.
Capulet is disgusted by Juliet’s behavior and the severity of his language is shocking when you think that he is talking to his own daughter. She tries to talk, but Capulet interferes before she can say anything. “Speak not, reply not, do not answer me; my fingers itch.” Capulet is telling Juliet not to talk at all. His fingers itch because he wants to slap her. Capulet thinks Juliet is truly ungrateful.Capulet tells Juliet all he has done for her.
“Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play.” He is saying he has worked hard to find a perfect husband for Juliet. However, the audience knows he has not.
It is merely a tactic to make Juliet feel guilty. Paris has asked Capulet at least twice for Juliet’s hand in marriage, so Capulet has not done anything really except approve the proposal. After this, Capulet leaves. Juliet says to her mother, “Delay this marriage for a month, a week or, if you do not, make the bridal bed in that dim monument where Tybalt lies.” She is saying she would rather die and be buried next to Tybalt, rather than marry Paris. Lady Capulet however does not care. She probably does not believe that Juliet would rather die either. This is dramatic irony.
The audience knows what is waiting for Juliet, but the characters themselves do not. Lady Capulet leaves, so Juliet now turns to the Nurse. “My husband is on earth, my faith in heaven; how shall the faith return again to earth, unless that husband send it me from heaven by leaving earth?” Juliet is saying that her marriage vow to Romeo is a holy vow.
The only way she could marry and vow again, is if Romeo died. This is more dramatic irony as the situation eventually proposed by Friar Laurence is to make it seem as though Romeo has indeed died. Juliet leaves to go to Friar Laurence. As she is leaving she says “If all else fail, myself have power to die.” Here, Juliet means that if Friar Laurence can not or will not help her, she can and will take her own life. Once more, the audience is aware of the significance of this statement more than Juliet herself.Although Juliet has refused ahs refused to marry Paris, Capulet goes on and continues to organize the wedding. He walks around giving orders to different servants.
As he is doing this, Juliet arrives back from Friar Laurence, looking happy. Capulet, after seeing this change in Juliet, also seems less angry. “How now, my headstrong! Where have you been gadding?” We can see in the affectionate teasing here, that he does have deep and genuine love for his daughter, despite his harshness in Act 3 Scene 5. Juliet lies and tells her father she has been to learn her lesson for being disobedient. She also kneels and says “Pardon, I beseech you! Henceforward I am ever ruled by you.
” I think she has done this to make her lie seem more true ands to appeal to Capulet’s authorization nature. It is exactly what Capulet wants to hear and this helps us to see that he is now happy. We know that Juliet has actually made a plan with Friar Laurence to get Romeo back to Verona so they can be together.
The Nurse and Lady Capulet find Juliet apparently dead and are in her room crying, with Lady Capulet is shouting for help. Capulet enters, not hearing the commotion, and shouts “For shame, bring Juliet forth her lord is come.” The Nurse now exclaims “She’s dead, deceased, she’s dead; alack the day!” Lady Capulet, who is in shock, also shouts “Alack the day, she’s dead, she’s dead, she’s dead!” Although both the Nurse and his wife have told him this dreadful news, Capulet does not believe them and goes over to Juliet to see for himself. “Death lies on her like an untimely frost upon the sweetest flower of all the field.” He then goes on to say “Death, that hath ta’en her hence to make me wail, ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak.” This shows us how much Capulet did actually love his daughter.
He says he is too upset that he can not talk. In describing her, touchingly, as “the sweetest flower in the field” we can see how much he cherished his daughter.Friar Laurence and Paris, along with some musicians now enter Juliet’s room. Friar Laurence asks, as though he does not know of these happenings, “Come, is the bride ready to go to church?” Capulet replies “Ready to go, but never to return.
” Capulet is saying here that Juliet would have gone to church be married and return from church later that day. But now, Juliet will go to church to be buried, and never return. Capulet then turns to Paris and says “O son! The night before thy wedding- day hath Death lain with thy wife. There she lies, flower as she was, deflowered by him.
” Capulet is telling Paris that death has slept with Juliet before he could, before anyone could; but we the audience, know she had slept with Romeo, which makes this darkly ironic as well as a touching a poignant metaphor.Throughout the play, Capulet’s relationship with Juliet demonstrates his pride and stubbornness. We can see that Capulet loves his daughter but by our standards he is excessive in his desire to control his daughters’ life.
Perhaps even by the standards of a patriarchal society, Capulet treats his daughter unfairly.