In Romeo and Juliet, Paris asks Capulet for Juliet's hand in marriage. Comment upon Capulet's reply.

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It is interesting that in Act I scene 2, in his conversation with Paris, Lord Capulet shows himself to be a very compassionate father. In response to Paris's urgent desire to marry as soon as possible, Capulet shows that he loves his daughter greatly, saying that she is too young and asking Paris to wait for two more years. When Paris protests that women are married much younger, note how Capulet responds:

And too soon marred are those so early made.

Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;

She is the hopeful lady of my earth.

But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;

My will to her consent is but a part.

And she agreed, within her scope of choice

Lies my consent and fair according voice.

Capulet then clearly points towards his love and affection of Juliet, saying that as she is his only child, she represents all his "hopes." However, he does not want to merely parcel out Juliet to Paris like a piece of property, and urges that Paris "woos" his daughter, and gains her love. As long as Paris does this, he has Capulet's consent. Interestingly, this attitude is actually very different to the kind of attitude Capulet displays in front of his daughter later on in the play when she tries to protest against marrying Paris. Here, however, we see a very cautious father, thinking of his daughter and risking putting off the noble Paris to ensure his daughter is ready and also encouraging him to woo her.

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