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In Act 3, Scene 4, what plan does Capulet make for Juliet?

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demise | Student, Undergraduate | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted March 12, 2009 at 6:40 AM via web

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In Act 3, Scene 4, what plan does Capulet make for Juliet?

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madelynfair | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 12, 2009 at 8:53 AM (Answer #1)

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To answer this, let's hearken back to a very early scene that shows Lord Capulet's original plan.

In act one, scene two, you will recall that Paris and Lord Capulet are discussing Paris's "suit." Paris is a suitor to Juliet and hopes to marry her. Go back to that scene to see what Lord Capulet says to the suitor, particularly this line:

"But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,

My will to her consent is but a part."

(I, ii, 16-17, Oxford School Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

Then he invites Paris to the Capulet party so that Paris and Juliet can meet.

Hmmm. If Capulet says, "Woo her," first of all, what does that mean? And does that mean what he says now in act three, scene three:

"A'Thursday let it be -- a' Thursday, tell her,

She shall be married to this noble earl."

(III, v, 20-21, Oxford School Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

So there's his plan. Rather different than his original one! How would you feel if you were Juliet hearing this news?

So look to see Juliet's reaction in scene five, and her father's reaction is to make two types of threats:

a) "...go with Paris to Saint Peter's Church,

Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither"

(III, v, 154-155, Oxford School Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

and

b) "And you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;

And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,

For by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee..."

(III, v, 191-192, Oxford School Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet)

Translate these two threats and there you have it: a man in a rage who leaves his daughter sobbing and screaming.

Good luck!

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