In her first appearance in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet in act 1, scene 3, Juliet seems self-assured and self-possessed. She is particularly so for a girl of thirteen. Juliet's mother, Lady Capulet, calls for Juliet to speak with her about Paris. Paris is a young nobleman who has asked for Juliet's hand in marriage.
LADY CAPULET. ...Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your disposition to be married?
JULIET. It is an honour that I dream not of. (1.3.68-70)
Lady Capulet and Juliet's nurse wax poetic about Paris's many good qualities. They try their best to convince Juliet to seriously consider his proposal of marriage.
Lady Capulet tells Juliet that Paris will be attending their family's feast that evening. She asks Juliet to take a good look at him and decide for herself. By doing so, Lady Capulet extends a courtesy to Juliet that many girls in Juliet's position do not enjoy. Marriages between wealthy families were often arranged by the parents, with little or no consideration given to the...
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