Does Capulet in "Romeo and Juliet" seem sincere in his concern for his daughter's happiness in marriage? 

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At first, in Act I of "Romeo and Juliet" as Lord Capulet responds to the "suit" of Paris by pleading with him to wait until Juliet is a little older,

My child is yet a stranger in the world--/She hath not seen the change of fourteen years./Let two more summers wither in their pride/Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride. (I,ii,8-11)

he seems solicitious of his daughter, especially when he asks Paris to attend the feast he has planned for Juliet where Paris should "woo her gently" and "like her most whose merit most shall be."

However in Act 3, Scene 5, Capulet's volatile temperament displayed in the opening scene in which he shouts for his long sword emerges again, but this time it is pointed against Juliet as he asks his wife if she has delivered to Juliet their "decree."  Irate when his wife informs him of Juliet's refusal to marry Paris, the father shouts and threatens to "drag thee on a thither" if she does not comply with his wishes. 

He calls her "young baggage!  Disoobedient wretch!" and complains to his wife that God only sent them one child who is

too much,/And that we have a curse in having her./Out on her hilding! (worthless girl) (III,v,166-168)

Capulet continues by telling Juliet that he will not allow her to live in his house if she does not agree to marry Paris.  She can "beg, starve, die in the streets before he breaks this vow.

Yet, while it appears that Capulet seems inordinately cold, readers must note that in the Renaissance marriages were arranged by the father and were, in part, often business deals as the daughter married someone who would profit the family throughout social position or monetary acquisitions.

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Romeo and Juliet

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