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What is a quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet  that shows Lord Capulet's...

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littleman71 | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted April 22, 2012 at 2:53 PM via web

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What is a quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet  that shows Lord Capulet's personality?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 24, 2012 at 3:26 AM (Answer #1)

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There are several quotes that can be used to characterize Lord Capulet and tell us about his personality. Similar to Tybalt, Capulet has a very hotheaded tempter, but unlike Tybalt, he also has a very noble heart and mind, and tries to be a good person.

We first see Capulet's hotheaded temper in the opening scene. When Capulet first arrives at the fight, some of his early lines are:

My sword, I say! Old Montague is come
And flourishes his blade in spite of me. (I.i.73-74)

The phrase "in spite of me" says that despite Capulet's best efforts to defeat Montague, Montague has come to attack Capulet again. The problem with this passage, or the irony in it, is that Capulet actually arrives at the scene before Montague. Therefore, Capulet is actually instigating a fight with Montague, rather than the other way around, and even placing the blame on Montague, rather than on himself. Hence, we see through Capulet's willingness to charge full steam ahead, even though he has not been provoked, that he is very hot-tempered indeed.

A line that portrays Capulet's noble heart and noble intentions, despite his temper can be seen in the next scene when he declares to Paris that, "'Tis not hard, I think, / For men so old as we to keep the peace" (I.ii.2-3). By the term "old," Capulet refers to his and Montagues' old age in order to say that they should both be acting much more wisely than they are. The term "old" can also refer to both the Capulet's and the Montague's family history and prestige. Both families are ancient noble families of Verona. Since they are of noble lineage, Capulet believes that they should be acting with far more dignity than they are.

Finally, another line that portrays Capulet's personality and noble-hearted intentions can be seen in the final scene. After he and Montague learn of their daughter's and son's deaths and their causes, Capulet is actually the first to make amends. It is Capulet who first turns to Montague and says:

O brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand. (V.iii.307-309)

These lines show us that Capulet is finally willing to give Montague his love and friendship as his daughter's dowry, the word "jointure" being translated as "dowry" (308). Since Capulet is the first to express love and bring peace, we see that he indeed has a noble heart.

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