If you were Juliet, how would you have reacted to Capulet's plan for your marriage with Paris?

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poetrymfa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

If I was Juliet, I would have acted exactly as Juliet did act upon receiving the news that Capulet has schedule her wedding to Paris: with great grief and desperation. That being said, I probably wouldn't have been wise enough to escape the situation like she does.

When Juliet learns from her mother that she is to marry Paris "early next Thursday morn," Juliet begs her to tell Lord Capulet that she will not marry him.  Lady Capulet tells Juliet to tell her father herself; Capulet enters and reacts with tremendous anger when he learns of his daughter's disobedience. He threatens Juliet and gives her an ultimatum:

I tell thee what: get thee to church o' Thursday,

Or never after look me in the face...

... I'll give you to my friend;

And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,

For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee...

Juliet, however, responds to these threats with a more level-headed approach than I could ever manage. She calmly asks her father for patience and acknowledges her gratefulness for him so that she may "speak a word." I would have behaved in a much more reckless manner--screaming, crying, or trying to manipulate my way out of the situation.

Juliet doesn't show any real signs of emotional breakdown until after her parents have left the room; still, she is considering how to get out of this mess rather than completely losing herself in the devastation of this news. By the end of this scene, Juliet has wisely acquiesced (or rather, pretended to) to her father's demands and sends the Nurse to tell him of this... secretly knowing that this is the safest thing to say until she can meet with Friar Laurence to develop a plan. Again, this is an impressively savvy maneuver for a girl of her age, and I'm not sure I would have thought to take such an approach.

 

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Romeo and Juliet

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