Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Is Paris a Capulet?

Paris is not a Capulet. He is a kinsman to the Prince of Verona, like Mercutio.

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In Romeo and Juliet, Paris is not a Capulet. He is related to the Prince of Verona, like Mercutio, although the audience is not told the precise nature of their relationship. He is referred to as a "Count" or "County" and is presumably a member of the landed nobility, but the audience discovers little about his background apart from this.

The Prince, Mercutio, and Paris are the only three members of the nobility in the play who are portrayed as being outside the Capulet-Montague feud. Mercutio tends to align himself with the Montagues because of his friendship with Romeo, while Paris seeks an alliance in marriage with the Capulets. Presumably, if he had married Juliet, Paris would have taken the Capulet side, though he says to Capulet that he regards both families and their patriarchs as honorable and wishes they could be reconciled. These are his first words in the play:

Of honourable reckoning are you both;
And pity 'tis you lived at odds so long.

The fact that almost all the nobles in Verona seem to be part of or allied with either the Capulet or the Montague household must make it difficult to arrange marriages and, apart from the reservation that she is too young, Juliet's parents are delighted with the match they have made. Paris is represented as a noble and thoughtful, though rather conventional, suitor, and Romeo treats him with respect in the final scene that they share as they duel to the death.

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