What does Capulet say he wishes for his daughter?

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MaudlinStreet | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Senior Educator

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If you're referring to Capulet's first appearance, in Act I scene ii, he wishes for Juliet to mature two more years before she is married. In this scene, Paris is pushing for Capulet to grant him permission to marry Juliet, but Capulet is reluctant. As Juliet is only thirteen, Capulet thinks her too young to be wed.

She hath not seen the change of fourteen years;
Let two more summers wither in their pride
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.

Paris tries to argue, saying that women younger than Juliet marry and are happy, but Capulet argues that their lives are not as fulfilling as they might be if they had waited. He also says he will not consent to the marriage unless Juliet is willing.

But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;

My will to her consent is but a part.

An she agree, within her scope of choice

Lies my consent and fair according voice

Thus, Paris must win over Juliet before Capulet will even consider it. This is actually a rather progressive stance, considering the time period and the lack of rights for women. Capulet appears as one who truly loves his daughter and wants to see her happy. Of course, this will be reversed later, when he discovers that she refuses to marry Paris. At that point he disowns her and threatens to throw her into the streets if she does not obey his orders. It is interesting to note this shift throughout the play.

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