Why are the families to blame for the deaths in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and what quotes prove it?

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One of the major reasons for the double suicide of the title characters in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet can be traced to the sudden about-face by Lord Capulet in insisting his daughter marry Count Paris when only days before he had placed stipulations on such a marriage. In act I, scene 2, Capulet first tells Paris that Juliet is not old enough for marriage, and secondly, he says he would not agree to the union unless Paris was capable of winning Juliet's love:

But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart;
My will to her consent is but a part.
And, she agreed, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.
During this exchange, and later when Capulet notes that Romeo is considered "a virtuous and well governed youth," Capulet appears to be a sympathetic and common-sense man who does not make hasty decisions.
In act III, scene 5 , however, Capulet abruptly changes his tune, arranging the marriage between Paris and Juliet not long after the violence in Verona's streets which claims the...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 540 words.)

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