How would you describe Capulet's reaction to his daughter's 'death'?

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rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Capulet is, predictably, grief-stricken, as are his wife and the Nurse, who discovers Juliet's apparently dead body. When Paris arrives, ready to marry Juliet as planned, Capulet informs him that:

Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir; 
My daughter he hath wedded. I will die 
And leave him all. Life, living, all is Death's.

Later he states that all the pleasure and the joy has gone out of his life with Juliet's death, claiming that "with my child my joys are buried!" He immediately orders that all of the festivities planned for Juliet's wedding be immediately altered to mourning rituals. Friar Lawrence's response to Capulet is interesting. In attempting to comfort the Capulets, he almost chastises them for their grief, declaring that they should be happy, as Juliet has gone to a better place. Of course, he and the audience share the knowledge that the Capulets' grief is, in fact, misplaced, because their daughter is actually still alive. But the Capulet's grief in this scene serves to humanize them, as both have been shown in a fairly negative light thus far in the play.

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Romeo and Juliet

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