What is Juliet's response to her mother's idea of a match with Count Paris, as seen in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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Tamara K. H. eNotes educator| Certified Educator

We see Juliet giving two responses to her parents' idea that she marry Paris. In the first act when Lady Capulet first broaches the idea of a match between Juliet and Paris, Juliet is very hesitant to accept the idea, but also very willing to please. We especially see Juliet's initial resistance when her mother asks her what she thinks of the idea of marrying in general, and Juliet replies, "It is an honour that I dream not of" (I.iii.70). Her mother then continues to try to persuade her, saying that Paris wants her for a wife and encouraging her to consider him tonight at the ball by seeing how handsome he is and reflecting that his character inside is just as beautiful as his exterior. Juliet gives the congenial reply that she will look at Paris that night to see if she can like him if looking at a person can make that person likable. In other words, she is saying that she is willing to give him a try.

However, later, her parents decide it is best for her to marry now as a distraction from what they believe is her grief over Tybalt's death. During this later scene, Juliet's response to her mother is much more adamantly against the idea of marrying Paris. Juliet very blatantly states to Lady Capulet that Paris absolutely will not make her happy, as we see in her line, "He shall not make me there a joyful bride!" (III.v.120). She even wonders why her father has hastily decided to make her marry even before Paris should come to court her and even tells her father that she hates the idea of marrying Paris.

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Romeo and Juliet

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