How does Lady Capulet view marriage compared to Juliet's nurse in Romeo and Juliet?

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

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The scene that you need to refer to is Act I scene 3, when Juliet is confronted by both the Nurse and her mother as her mother tells her that Paris is seeking her hand in marriage. Both the Nurse and Lady Capulet spend much time praising Count Paris and his beauty and importance, trying to persuade Juliet that he is a great man to have for a husband, but if there is one difference between them, it is that the Nurse makes rather unhelpful but very funny comments regarding marriage and comments that detract from the formality of Lady Capulet's description of Paris. Note the following examples:

No less? Nay, bigger! Women grow by men.

Nay, he's a flower, in faith--a very flower.

Note how these comments compare to the elegant description of Paris made by Lady Capulet, when, in an extended metaphor, she compares him to a book:

Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face,

And find delight writ there with beauty's pen;

Examine every married lineament,

And see how one another lends content;

And what obscuredi n this fair volume lies

Find written in the margent of his eyes.

Thus we can see that there is a big difference between Lady Capulet and the Nurse and how they view marriage. Both are united in trying to persuade Juliet to marry Paris, and both almost expect her immediate agreement, but Lady Capulet is far more elegant and persuasive in her speech, whereas the Nurse is more comic and inappropriate. Some productions have made much of this comic element, having Lady Capulet look disapprovingly at the Nurse when she makes such comments.

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