In Romeo and Juliet, describe Juliet's relationship with her family in Act 1.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The only real evidence that we can look at to answer this question in Act I is actually in Act I scene 3, which is of course the famous scene when Lady Capulet and the Nurse talk with Juliet about marrying Paris. The fact that Lord Capulet is absent from this conversation seems to be significant of the way that he views his daughter. She is a possession to be bestowed onto whom he pleases, and for his benefit. Her own feelings are immaterial.

If we consider Lady Capulet, however, it appears that her affections for Juliet are contrasted with the Nurse's. It is the Nurse that loves her charge, even though she shows this love and care in amusing ways. The words of Lady Capulet are rather stilted and formal with her daughter. Again, no option is given to Juliet by her mother. She quickly tells her that Paris wants to marry her, only then urging her to be aware of his "valiant" status and then to be pleased when she sees him that evening at the ball. It is clearly assumed that she will accede to her parents' wishes. Note how this is implied:

Well, think of marriage now. Younger than you,

Here in Verona, ladies of esteem,

Are made already mothers. By my count,

I was your mother much upon these years

That you are now a maid.

Depending on the director, these lines could be delivered in a rather impatient, exasperated voice. Lady Capulet was married before Juliet's age, so she needs to accept that she will be married, regardless of her feelings or not. This points to a rather cold relationship with her mother, suggesting that Juliet is distant from both of her parents.

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