In act 1 scene 3, how does the way Lady Capulet and Juliet address each other indicate their relationship and type of love?Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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As indicated earlier in the play, Romeo and Juliet, the Nurse--probably a close relative--has a closer relationship to Juliet than does Lady Capulet, her mother.  For, when Lady Capulet calls for Juliet, she asks the Nurse where she is.  In addition, the doting Nurse, who calls Juliet by the affectionate terms "lamb" and "ladybird," is included in the discussion of Juliet's proposed betrothal.  That theirs is not a close relationship is also evinced with Juliet's respectful, but distant, address: Madam, I am here. What is your will?"  Then, when Lady Capulet asks Juliet if she will consider marrying--"How stands your disposition to be married?"--she speaks in a formal tone, and she indicates by her inquiry that she knows nothing of her daughter's feelings on the subject.  Likewise, Juliet replies formally,  "It is an honor that I dream not of."

Rather than inquiring why Juliet does not wish to be married, Lady Capulet imposes her will upon her daughter, telling her that girls younger than she have been made wives.  In fact, she was much the same age when she was married. Rather than asking Juliet why she feels as she does, Lady Capulet supports her own point of view, speaking formally of Paris, in employing the extended metaphor of the book for the character of Paris, hoping this will convince Juliet:

...That book in many's eyes doth share the glory

That in gold clasps locks in the golden story

So shall you share all that he doth possess,

By having him making yourself no less.

Speak briefly, Can you like of Paris's love? (1.3.95-99)

Responding briefly, Juliet replies with alliteration to speed her line, "I'll look to like, if looking liking move."  And, this is the end of any  discussion between daughter and mother until later in the play.

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