What do Acts 1 and 3, Scenes 3 and 5 in Shakespeare's Rome and Juliet  say about the Capulet's family relationship?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In the third scene of Act 1, we see that Lady Capulet feels a lot of admiration for her daughter. She is very proud of Juliet's beauty, saying to Nurse, "Thou know'st my daughter's of a pretty age." We also see from this scene that Juliet and her mother have a very respectful, very business like relationship. Lady Capulet wishes to persuade Juliet to marry Paris because she knows it will be a very advantageous match for her. Paris has a much higher ranking title than the Capulet family, which will bring their family more prestige. Plus, Paris is very wealthy, which will benefit Juliet and the Capulet family financially. We see Lady Capulet take a business approach to their relationship when she asks Juliet to look closely at County Paris at the feast that night, and consider whether or not he is worthy of her love. She asks Juliet to consider Paris's looks, as we see in the lines,

Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,
And find delight write there with beauty's pen. (I.iii.85-86)

In other words, she is asking her daughter to look at Paris's face and see that he is handsome. Beyond that, she also asks Juliet to consider Paris's character, saying, "What obscur'd in this fair volume lies / Find written in the margent of his eyes" (89-90). In other words, what Juliet cannot see in Paris's face, such as his character and his soul, she will see by looking into his eyes.  

Also in this scene, Juliet proves that her relationship with her mother is based on polite respect when she responds to all of her mother's requests by politely saying, "I'll look to like, if looking liking move."

Since Juliet's relationship with her parents is based on polite respect, we see their relationship deteriorate when Juliet refuses to obey her father in consenting to marry Paris. Hence in Act 3, Scene 5, we see her father call Juliet a "disobedient wretch!" and further say, 

Get thee to churc o'Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face. (III.v)

Even Juliet's mother says, "Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee."

Thus, we see that Juliet's relationship with her parents is not a very deep relationship. Instead, her parents see her as a business tool that can be used to secure a very profitable marriage for the family. Her parents also expect absolute obedience, therefore, Juliet's independence ruins what little relationship they have.

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Romeo and Juliet

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