In Romeo and Juliet, how many children does Lord Capulet have?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write9,124 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

In many respects Juliet is the classic only child: fiercely independent, a little spoilt perhaps, but someone who knows her own mind. Her mind—not to mention her emotions, of course—tell her to defy her parents' wishes and marry Romeo, the love of her life. Juliet's status as an only child undoubtedly makes it a lot easier to go against her parents' wishes, as there are no siblings on hand to straighten her out.

Though Juliet may be an only child, she's part of a large and extensive family network. She may not have any brothers or sisters, but she feels the pain of her kinsman Tybalt's death at the hands of her beloved Romeo. This tragic event inspires an internal conflict in which Juliet is forced to choose to stand with her family or remain loyal to her husband. (No prizes for guessing which choice she makes).

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

kateanswers eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2016

write900 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Science

Lord and Lady Capulet have only one child—Juliet. It is important to note that Romeo is the only child of his parents, too, making their deaths all the more upsetting for these families!

In Act I, Scene 2, it is mentioned that Lord Capulet had other children at some point, but they all died. This would not have been uncommon in either Italy (where the play is set) or England (where it was written) at the time. Prior to about the 18th or 19th century in Europe, most families had many children to ensure that at least one would survive. Even illnesses that we pay little mind to today, such as a stomach flu, could wipe out a whole family in Shakespeare's time! It was also very common for mothers and babies to die during childbirth, especially if a woman was malnourished. Because Juliet's family is wealthy, they probably ate very well, so it is likely her siblings died as the result of some infectious illness.

It is never mentioned specifically how many children the Capulets lost.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial