Why should Juliet postpone her marriage with Paris? When should the marriage occur? What options should Juliet be given? Why should Juliet not be married yet? When would Juliet be better...
Why should Juliet postpone her marriage with Paris? When should the marriage occur? What options should Juliet be given? Why should Juliet not be married yet? When would Juliet be better prepared for a wedding?
In Act 1, Scene 2, the audience witnesses the private conversation between Lord Capulet (Juliet's father) and the County Paris, a man of high status who wishes to marry Juliet immediately. Lord Capulet says, "My child is yet a stranger in the world" (I.2.8). He believes Juliet to be too young (she is not yet fourteen years old) to marry now, and he wants to "Let two more summers wither in their pride / Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride" (I.2.10-11). He asks Paris to wait for two more years before he thinks of marrying her because Lord Capulet believes young girls who are forced to marry and become wives and mothers so early are "too soon marred" (I.2.13). He believes that, when Juliet is nearly sixteen, she will be of a better age to make such a momentous decision and better equipped to handle the responsibilities of marriage and motherhood.
Further, Capulet advises Paris to use this time to
woo her; get her heart;
[because Capulet's] will to her consent is but a part.
And, she agreed, within her scope of choice
Lies [his] consent and fair according voice (I.2.16-19).
Capulet tells Paris to court Juliet and try to win her affections because, in addition to receiving Lord Capulet's permission to marry Juliet, Paris must also convince Juliet to marry him. Capulet makes it sound as though Juliet will have a great deal of choice in who she will marry. He says that if she chooses Paris when those two years are up, then he will agree to her choice.