In Act 1, Scenes 2 and 3 of "Romeo and Juliet", what decisions are made about a marriage for Juliet?

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robertwilliam eNotes educator| Certified Educator


Act 1, Scene 2 there's really a decision avoided, rather than decision made. Capulet tells Paris to wait two years before he thinks about letting him marry Juliet, and then says, instead that he should set about wooing Juliet himself. In fact, Capulet continues, Paris might well have the opportunity to look at Juliet (and lots of other women) at his feast, that night...

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.
This night I hold an old accustom'd feast,
Whereto I have invited many a guest,
Such as I love; and you among the store,
One more, most welcome...

Act 1, Scene 3 again, it's a decision deferred. Juliet is told by Lady Capulet (and then told again by the Nurse!) that Paris wants to marry her, and that he is seeking a bride. She decides, in a very elliptical little speech, to look at him, and see what she thinks:

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.

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Romeo and Juliet

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