What is a character trait that describes Juliet Capulet that is seen in Romeo and Juliet?

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Karen P.L. Hardison | College Teacher | eNotes Employee

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A dominant character trait of Juliet, which is visible in Acts 1 through 3, is that she is quick to recognize and adapt to new circumstances and situations. At the best of times, this is resourcefulness. At the worst of times, this is impetuousness.

The first time this is seen is at the party following her exchange with her mother. She tells her mother that she will "do her will" and agrees to meet Paris and consider his proposal of marriage, even promising to govern her acquaintance of him by her mother's wishes. At the party, things change.

Juliet's age is identified as being just under fourteen and she deports herself with decorum and dignity, though we also know that her meeting with Paris will be her first association with courtship. Then she encounters Romeo.

ROMEO: [To JULIET] If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this:
My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

She quickly recognizes a new situation and readily adapts to it with resourcefulness by offering a little encouraging flirtation of her own, while keeping pace with Romeo's allusions to Christian pilgrims:

JULIET: Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this;
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss.

Later, when Romeo breaches the orchard wall and they romance each other under the light of the changeful orb, the moon, "the inconstant moon, / That monthly changes in her circled orb," Juliet recognizes another new situation and quickly, though impetuously, adapts to it by saying that if Romeo has an honorable purpose to his love and intends marriage between them, she will meet him on the morrow to perform the rite of marriage:

JULIET: If that thy bent of love be honourable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
By one that I'll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;

These are but two of the instances in which Juliet meets and recognizes a new situation to which she quickly adapts. With these two examples in hand, you'll be able to identify others and determine which are resourceful and which are impetuous.

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