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In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, why does Lord Capulet change his mind about...

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giofunny97 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 14, 2012 at 8:27 AM via web

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In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, why does Lord Capulet change his mind about Paris marrying Juliet?

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misslacey | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted March 14, 2012 at 9:56 AM (Answer #1)

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In Act I, Scene ii, Capulet explains to Paris that Juliet is still two young to marry for at least two more summers, but that he gives his blessing for Paris to woo her, agreeing that she can marry earlier if he wins her heart:

"But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart.

My will to her consent is but a part. An she agreed within her scope of choice, Lies my consent and fair according voice."

In Act III, Capulet does not exactly express a clear reason for his sudden change of heart. It seems, however, that he decides Juliet should marry Paris immediately because the family is so grief-stricken in the aftermath of Tybalt's death that he feels they need a joyous event to lift their hearts. In Act III, Scene iii, Lady Capulet shares the news with Juliet, saying it was thoughtfully decided by her father as an attempt to cheer her up:

"Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child.

One who, to put thee from thy heaviness, Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy..." In the final scene of the play, Act V, Scene iii, Friar Lawrence is explaining to Prince, Capulet and Montague all of the tragic events that led to Romeo and Juliet's deaths. Like Lady Capulet earlier, Friar Lawrence also suggests that the reason Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris so suddenly is to ease her sadness for Tybalt: "You, to remove that siege of grief from her, Betrothed and would have married her perforce To County Paris."

 

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