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How does Lady Capulet's behavior during the marriage announcement and Capulet's anger influence readers' perception of her?

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Lady Capulet believes Juliet weeps for her dead cousin. Lady Capulet tells Juliet to dry her tears and expects the news of marriage to cheer Juliet up.

Well, well, thou hast a careful father, child;
One who, to put thee from thy heaviness,
Hath sorted out a sudden day of joy,
That thou expect'st not nor I look'd not for.

By saying "I look'd not for," she tells us that she is not involved in the planning of this, but when Juliet refuses, Lady Capulet simply tells her to bring it up with her father.

Lord Capulet is not pleased that his daughter refuses the match. He yells and calls her names, threatening to drag her out to the church if he has to. His words do shock Lady Capulet, and she says,

Fie, fie! what, are you mad?

However, Lord Capulet dominates the dialogue in this exchange. He refuses to hear any excuses or explanations from Juliet. Even the Nurse speaks up:

You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.

But Lady Capulet's only other line in this exchange is:

You are too hot.

She says this to her husband. This is similar to her other line, as they both comment on his reaction. She is silent the rest of the time while Lord Capulet yells. According to the text, she definitely thinks her husband is overreacting. But she does not defend Juliet, and once he leaves, she says to her daughter

Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word:
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.

Because she only has two lines telling her husband he is too angry, much of her reaction is in silence and therefore left up to the actress portraying the character. When reading, we are left feeling like Lady Capulet has not done enough to defend her daughter. She seems to be an uncaring mother. Depending on the actress's facial expressions, perhaps this is because she is powerless against her husband. Perhaps she only married him because it was an arranged marriage. The actress could be cold during this scene, or she could look fearful of her husband.

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Lady Capulet seems to think that Juliet's imminent betrothal to the drippy, uninspiring Paris is a cause for celebration. As well as demonstrating how out of touch with reality she is, Lady Capulet's unaccountably sunny disposition also emphasizes the lack of genuine connection she has with her daughter.

If our initial impressions of the good Lady weren't exactly positive to begin with, they're even less so when we see her craven response to her husband's splenetic fury over Juliet's stubbornness. Unlike Juliet, Lady Capulet unhesitatingly goes along with society's prevailing conventions without ever stopping to think whether she's doing the right thing. As we might expect, then, she blindly apes her husband's impetuosity, joining him in treating Juliet like an insolent, spoiled brat who must be disowned at once.

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Juliet's mother comes to Juliet in Act III, Scene 5 to tell her that she is to marry Paris on Thursday, Lady Capulet believes that these are "joyful tidings." When Juliet responds that she will not marry now, Juliet's mother has Juliet tell her father her response so Juliet can bear the brunt of her father's anger.

Lady Capulet says, "Here comes your father: tell him so yourself, / And see how he will take it at your hands."

When Lord Capulet hears Juliet's response he is enraged and tells Juliet that she will marry Paris or he will cast her out of their home and she will be left to die in the streets.

Lord Capulet remarks:

Graze where you will, you shall not house with me:

Look to't, think on't, I do not use to jest.

Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:

An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;

An you be not, hang, beg, starve, die i' the streets,

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

Nor what is mine shall never do thee good.

When Juliet asks her mother for help against her father's anger her mother responds, "Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word;/ Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee", and refuses to help her.

Her mother's behavior is consistent with Elizabethan times, where a father's will is paramount - but as modern readers it influences our opinion of her in that she shows little concern for her daughter and her wishes. We see her as cold and uncaring for Juliet and a contributor to her ultimate death.

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How does Juliet's mother's behavior when Capulet gets angry at Juliet influence the way in which the reader views Lady Capulet?

In Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, Juliet's parents are seemingly concerned for Juliet's welfare at the start of the play. Capulet specifically tells Paris, who is vying for Juliet's hand, to wait two years to pursue her, and then, that Paris must also win Juliet's consent.

Juliet secretly marries Romeo, and then Romeo kills Tybalt. At this point, Capulet completely changes is mind (perhaps thinking Juliet grieves too much for her cousin…while she is secretly grieving more for Romeo's banishment), quickly sets a wedding date with Paris without Juliet's consent, and demands that Juliet marry Paris. Juliet demurs. Lady Capulet tells Capulet this, and he comes into the room raging. He first tells Juliet that he doesn't want to hear her polite refusals: if she doesn't agree, Capulet promises Juliet he will drag her to the church. Then he says that if she refuses, he will kick her out into the street. Lady Capulet stands up for Juliet, questioning her husband's harshness and sanity, accusing him of going too far.


Fie, fie! what, are you mad? (III.v.161)

Lady Capulet tries again.


You are too hot. (183)

The Nurse tries to defend Juliet, who is beside herself. Capulet basically tells her to shut her mouth.


And why, my Lady Wisdom? Hold your tongue,

Good Prudence. Smatter with your gossips, go! (175-176)

Capulet refuses to back down, and in an instant, Lady Capulet completely changes her tune. When Capulet leaves, Juliet's mother tells her daughter that she is finished with Juliet from here on, out.


Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word.

Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee. (211-212)

As quickly as Capulet can leave the room, Lady Capulet turns her back on her only child. We might assume Lady Capulet stood up to her husband in order to appear the "concerned mother," perhaps knowing as she did so that Capulet would still have his way—he is after all, the patriarch, and Lady Capulet would realistically have little (or nothing) to say in this marital arrangement. We have, however, also seen the less than gentle side of Lady Capulet. In Act One, when fighting breaks out in the streets, Capulet calls for a sword, while Lady Capulet insults him by telling him that he should be asking for a crutch. Perhaps she simply likes to defy her husband whenever possible, and does so here. Either way, we know now that she is inconstant, and will not stand behind her child.

Regardless of the reason that she decides to remove her support of Juliet, Lady Capulet contributes—in albeit a small way—to the tragedy of Romeo and her daughter, Juliet.

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