How does Capulet respond to Paris' proposal to marry Juliet?
Early in the play, in Act I, Scene 2, Lord Capulet sends mixed messages to Count Paris about the availability of his daughter Juliet to be married. At first he insists that Juliet is too young and suggests that Paris wait two years, saying, "Let two more summers wither in their pride/Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride." After all, Juliet is only thirteen years old. Paris, however, claims that even younger girls have already given birth ("Younger than she are happy mothers made"). Capulet then seems to soften his stance, telling Paris that he might be willing to approve of such a marriage only if Paris can win Juliet's heart. He asserts that her happiness is utmost in his mind. He says,
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;
My will to her consent is but a part.
And, she agreed, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.