What concepts of love are presented by the female characters in Act I, Scene III of Romeo and Juliet?

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noahvox2 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act I, Scene III of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, we hear a conversation between Juliet's mother, Juliet, and Juliet's nurse (a female servant who has taken care of Juliet ever since she was born).

Juliet's mother is quite keen on Juliet getting married and she observes that "The valiant Paris seeks you for his love." Lady Capulet also notes that she herself and many other noble women of Verona are accustomed to marry at an even younger age than Juliet is currently and that some of them have already become mothers.

Juliet indicates that she is open to the prospect of Paris' love, but she cannot promise anything at this point:

I'll look to like, if looking liking move:
But no more deep will I endart mine eye
Than your consent gives strength to make it fly.

Thus, in this scene, it appears that Lady Capulet and the Nurse take a sort of amor gratia amoris view. They advocate love because it is customary for a girl of Juliet's age to be in love, to marry, and to have children. They advocate love because it is the custom.

Juliet, on the other hand, gives hints that she is more interested in a true love, a love that is borne out of longing and desire for another person, rather than just out of social custom.

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Romeo and Juliet

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