Is Juliet being fair and reasonable to Paris when she is talking to him in act 4, scene 1 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is difficult with Paris in this scene by avoiding any expression of kindness and speaking evasively. She doesn't really hate him, however. She's in an incredibly stressful bind and has neither the time nor the energy for a nice, though fairly clueless suitor who in no way arouses the passion she feels for Romeo.

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There's a lot that poor Paris doesn't know in this scene. The all-important fact that he doesn't know—and which neither Juliet nor the Friar are inclined to tell him—is that there is a very good reason why Juliet can't marry him. She is already married to Romeo. From that point of view, Juliet is completely fair in not encouraging his advances.

However, not having all the information puts Paris at a distinct disadvantage. He knows nothing of Juliet's secret marriage to Romeo, and his actions toward Juliet show no disrespect toward her. He also has never given her any reason to dislike him. Juliet is simply so swept up in her all-consuming love for Romeo that she cannot contemplate even so much as giving another man the time of day.

Paris is just a decent man trying to romance a woman, and he's unknowingly just become the third wheel in the midst of a passionate love affair.

Knowing that she cannot divulge the truth, Juliet winds up being intentionally misleading, giving Paris hope with...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 896 words.)

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