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Do Juliet's parents have any real concern for her welfare?

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princesseavril | Student, Grade 9 | Honors

Posted November 21, 2012 at 4:35 PM via web

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Do Juliet's parents have any real concern for her welfare?

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akannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted November 22, 2012 at 3:33 PM (Answer #1)

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I think that much about the Capulets can be seen in Act III, sc. 5.  Part of the reason why Juliet changes so much throughout the course of the drama is based on how her parents discard her.  When confronted with the distinct possibility that their daughter will not heed to their wishes, both parents display a lack of concern for their child.  Lady Capulet cuts off her child in a frank and brutal display:  “Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.”  This is a stunning display of a lack of concern from a parent to their child.  It does not seem as if Lady Capulet has much regard for the well- being of her child, given the fact that Juliet will not immediately acquiesce to the wishes of her parents.  Lord Capulet also demonstrates a harsh lack of concern for his child when confronted with Juliet seeking to activate her voice as a young woman:

Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch! 
I tell thee what—get thee to church a Thursday 
Or never after look me in the face. 
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me! 
My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest 
That God had lent us but this only child; 
But now I see this one is one too much, 
And that we have a curse in having her. 
Out on her, hilding!

This is a fairly open display that shows Capulet displaying a lack of concern about his child.  The language used towards his daughter reflects a deep understanding that children must obey their parents.  If they do not, Capulet's understanding is that they are a cause of shame and should be treated as such.  This shows a lack of regard for the person his daughter is and hopes to become.  In displaying such a condition, it becomes clear that Juliet's parents don't really demonstrate that much real concern for her well- being.

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