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Is Paris a "good" character?
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County Paris is juxtaposed with Romeo throughout the play, and by doing so, Shakespeare highlights the extraordinary nature of Romeo's love for Juliet. Paris is completely ignorant of the romance between Romeo and Juliet, and so while his own suit for Juliet threatens the lovers' plans, he is not a "blocking" character. Moreover, in the tomb scene, Paris acquits himself well, displaying a depth of affection for Juliet and earning Romeo's praise. But Paris is a conventional lover. Lady Capulet compares him to a "book" in urging her daughter to look favorably upon the "volume" of his face. Paris goes by the book: he seeks Old Capulet's permission to marry Juliet and looks forward to the day when she will be mother to his children. His wit is not match for Juliet's in Act IV, scene i., when the two come together at Friar Laurence's cell. Paris is a "good" man but a standard lover; Romeo is not even a man, but he is a transcendent lover, made so by his bond with Juliet.
Posted by enotes on September 8, 2013 at 3:56 PM (Answer #1)
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