What is Juliet's response when her mother suggests she consider marriage?

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andrewnightingale's profile pic

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When Lady Capulet asks Juliet how she feels about getting married, Juliet replies:

"It is an honour that I dream not of."

There is a clear hint of sarcasm in Juliet's response. It was seen as an honour for Veronese women to be married, especially to someone of rank and title. Juliet, however, is not interested at all.

Lady Capulet then informs Juliet about Count Paris' interest in her and asks that Juliet at least observe Paris at their feast that evening. She urges her to consider marriage to him as a definite possibility. She asks Juliet:

"Speak briefly, can you like of Paris' love?"

It is clear that Lady Capulet has already made up her mind that Paris is a most suitable husband for her daughter and wants to know if Juliet would at least appreciate and consider Paris' affection.

Juliet replies:

"I'll look to like, if looking liking move:
But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly."

Juliet response can be seen as quite ambiguous - she may mean that she will look to find whether she likes what she sees or that she may act as if she likes what she sees. In both instances she states that she will look if such looking inspires her to like what she sees (that she is moved) or that by acting in the manner her mother wishes her to (by looking) that it may inspire some other result, either from herself or even Count Paris.

Juliet states, however, that she will not look more deeply than her mother allows her to, to make her interest seem genuine. It is clear that Juliet would acquiesce to her mother's request, showing her obedience.   

lmillerm's profile pic

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*All quotes are taken from The Norton Shakespeare, based on the Oxford Edition.

Lady Capulet suggests that Juliet consider marrying Paris (Act I, Scene iii). Juliet's heart belongs to Romeo, and she answers her mother honestly. Juliet claims that she can look at Paris on the surface (physically), but she can look no further. She cannot look deeper than the surface just because of her mother's acceptance ("I'll look to like, if looking liking move;/But no more deep will I endart mine eye/Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.")

Sources:
favoritethings's profile pic

Posted on

Generally speaking, Juliet simply does not seem very interested in marriage at all, let alone marriage to the Count Paris, a man about which she knows little, aside from his position and that he will attend the Capulets' party that night.  Juliet's mother and nurse have a great deal more to say about Count Paris's interest in Juliet than Juliet has to say about Count Paris, indicating her lack of enthusiasm for marriage.  Juliet basically tells her mother that she's never even really thought about marriage, that it hasn't even entered her dreams.  She then dutifully agrees to "look" at the Count and see if she thinks she might be able to like him, but, if she does like him, she will go no further with her liking than her parents' consent would permit her.  The brevity of her responses shows Juliet isn't really interested, but her obedience to her parents is clear.

kylaa-kk's profile pic

Posted on

Juliet's response when he mother suggests she consider marriage is, "It is an honour that I hadn't thought about." And then later on Juliet tells her mother she will try to consider it.

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