How does Lord Capulet's anger build up when Juliet refuses to marry Paris?

Expert Answers
favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

At first, Lord Capulet simply seems to be confused by his wife's news that Juliet does not want to marry Count Paris.  He says, "Soft, take me with you, take me with you, wife" (3.5.146).  He is sort of confused and seems to require further explanation of this response, and he asks questions that build in intensity: "How, will she none?  Doth she not give us thanks? / Is she not proud?" and, finally, "Doth she not count her blessed, / Unworthy as she is, that we have wrought / So worthy a gentleman to be her bride?" (3.5.147-148, 3.5.148-150).  He begins, simply asking for information, but eventually his anger grows so that he describes his daughter as "unworthy" and implies that she lacks gratitude and value. 

Once Juliet responds, her father's anger only increases.  He mocks her, calling her "Mistress minion," "baggage," and "tallow face," and he threatens her, saying that if she doesn't get herself to the church on Thursday to marry Paris, he "will drag [her] on a hurdle thither" (3.5.156, 161, 162; 3.5.160).  She begs him to hear her, and his wife calls him mad for his terrible words, but it only makes his rage worse.  His "fingers itch" because he wants to strike his daughter, and he ends by saying that if Juliet doesn't obey him, he will let her "hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, / For, by [his] soul, [he'll] ne'er acknowledge [her]" (3.5.170, 3.5.204-205).  His anger builds throughout the conversation, and any involvement on his wife or Juliet's nurse's part seems only to incense him further.  He evidently frightens the nurse so much that she advises Juliet to do as he says.

Read the study guide:
Romeo and Juliet

Access hundreds of thousands of answers with a free trial.

Start Free Trial
Ask a Question