3 Answers | Add Yours
What I take from the way Lady Capulet asks Juliet these questions is that they don't have an open and trusting relationship. It is clear that Lady Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris and hints around about Juliet's opinion on marriage first, before addressing the real question about her opinion of marrying Paris. Lady Capulet isn't comfortable enough with her daughter to ask her direct questions. Her own wants also are shown to trump Juliet's wishes because even after Juliet says quite directly that she's not ready to marry anyone, she continues on with the same line of questioning prompting Juliet to give Paris a chance and rethink her feelings. If she really cared about Juliet, she would have realized her daughter wasn't ready and dropped the issue. Just like many of the upper class women of the time, she is more interested in appearance, reputation, and how others think about her rather than the happiness of her child.
I think that it's also really important to notice how Lady Capulet is approaching her daughter at this point in the play. At this point, she is really concerned with what Juliet thinks about marrying Paris. This is going to be in stark contrast to what happens later on and the way Lady Capulet acts towards Juliet later. Why the change?
The primary focus of the exchange between mother and daughter is one of marriage. It is phrased and formed as almost a business arrangement. Lady Capulet asks the Nurse to summon Juliet, and then asks her to leave so that they can talk in private, only to recognize that the Nurse has been privy to much, so this discussion is fair game:
I have remember'd me, thou shalt hear our counsel.
Thou knowest my daughter's of a pretty age.
Lady Capulet approaches her daughter about marriage and her thoughts on the issue. Lady Capulet asks her what she thinks about her own marriage, to which Juliet replies it to be "an honor" of which she could never "dream." This emotional response to marriage is undercut by Lady Capulet, whose questions continue to focus on the social acceptability of marriage, for at Juliet's age, " ladies of esteem, Are made already mothers." She continues on to ask questions of Juliet about Paris as a suitor. Her questions relate to Paris' social acceptability as a husband, the "book" that "needs a cover." She argues that Paris' value is one the "many's eyes doth share the glory." Juliet concludes the questioning by saying that she will do her mother's bidding and look at Paris at the evening ball. The questioning of Juliet on the issue of marriage helps to reveal how marriage can be seen by the individual and how it is viewed by the social setting of Verona.
We’ve answered 319,667 questions. We can answer yours, too.Ask a question