When Lady Capulet asks Juliet how she feels about marriage, what is Juliet’s answer?

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kateanswers eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act I, Scene III of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, we find Juliet, Nurse, and Lady Capulet together. Nurse and Lady Capulet are discussing how Juliet is coming of age, when Nurse mentions how she hopes to live to see the day Juliet is married. Lady Capulet quickly turns this on her daughter to ask how she feels about the prospect of marriage. To this, Juliet replies, "It is an honor I that I dream not of." In our modern tongue, she might equally have said, "I haven't thought about it." 

Referencing marriage as an honor implies that Juliet understands the social significance of marriage and has probably thought a little bit about her own. However, she does not dream of it. She does not want to be married and to think on it might even be unpleasant for her. After all, she is only fourteen!

This particular exchange between Lady Capulet, Juliet, and Nurse is an important one for really understanding how intensely changed Juliet is after meeting Romeo. Here, she tells her mother and caretaker that she has no aspirations of marriage, yet just a few days later, she will be married to Romeo in secret.

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Romeo and Juliet

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