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Does Capulet's words and actions give us some insight into why there are problems...

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ashasmasher | Student, Grade 12 | (Level 2) eNoter

Posted August 8, 2012 at 9:40 PM via web

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Does Capulet's words and actions give us some insight into why there are problems between the Capulets and Montagues?

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Ashley Kannan | Middle School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted August 9, 2012 at 1:16 AM (Answer #1)

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All feuds and conflicts involve multiple sides.  Yet, I think that Shakespeare does show that Capulet himself might be more inclined to dissonance and a sense of disagreement as opposed to conciliation and consensus.  For example, the words he speaks to Juliet in Act III, sc. 5 are fairly indicative of a personality and temperament that is not inclined to collaboration and a sense of coming together. The manner in which he cuts off Juliet is particularly brutal.  She ends up being relegated as a beggar in Lord Capulet's words, and completely severed from her family as well as her name.  His willingness to use force as a way to compel Juliet to marry is also indicative in the language he uses.  In this example, one can see a couple of things about Capulet.  The first is that he does not retreat on the power of rhetorical language.  This might be indicative of how he has treated the Montagues, helping to intensify the rift between them.  Additionally, I think that this speaks to how stubborn Capulet can be.  If he is willing to be this harsh to his daughter, then it stands to reason that he can demonstrate more in way of intolerance and intemperance to his rival.  In the exchange with Juliet, Shakespeare is able to display and show exactly how Capulet's use of language can intensify a rift already present.

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