In act 1, scene 2, Old Capulet describes his daughter’s overall attitude towards marriage pretty accurately. She is simply too young to have even considered the possibility; sheltered, coddled, Juliet is in all ways still a child. It is only Paris’s interest that presses the issue, and Capulet is reluctant:
Capulet: Let two more summers wither in their pride
Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride.
And too soon marred are those so early made. (I.ii.13)
Capulet gives Paris consent to woo Juliet, and promises to give consent to the marriage if, and only if, Paris can capture his daughter’s heart.
Meanwhile, Juliet’s first encounter with the idea of marriage comes not from Paris or her father, but her mother.
Lady Capulet: Marry, that “marry” is the very theme
I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your dispositions to be married? (1.iii.60-62)
Juliet responds that she considers marriage an honor, but not one that she dreams about. Whether she’s being candid or simply polite is up for debate. Is it simply that she’s never considered the idea until now? Or is she trying to tell her mother, without offending her, that she’s not particularly interested in getting married?
To be fair, the idea of being tied to a complete stranger is a daunting one. But Juliet is cautiously willing to at least give it a try.
Juliet: I'll look to like, if looking liking move, But no more deep will I endart mine eye Than your consent gives strength to make it fly. (1.iii.99-101)
At this point, Juliet’s attitude towards marriage is about duty and obedience to her parents. The concept of love doesn’t even enter into the equation.
That changes when Romeo enters the picture. Suddenly, Juliet’s heart is involved. The ensuing romance is heady, intense, passionate, and full of angst. The forbidden aspect of the whole affair gives it a titillating thrill that tosses it from a summer flirtation up to a romance of epic proportions. At the end of scene 5, Juliet is convinced that she is in love with a young lad she’d met only that night, a lad who is not only not Paris, but who is also the only son of her father’s greatest enemy.
Although it wouldn’t be fair to downplay Romeo’s charm and physical attributes, I would say that circumstances have as much to do with Juliet’s feelings as any “love at first sight” chemistry do. Juliet is about to be pushed into a monumental change in her life that she is not sure she wants, and is ripe for rebellion in the matter. On top of that, she is a complete novice in love, having never experienced romance with anyone before meeting Romeo.
On his side, Romeo is on the rebound from “fair Rosaline” and ready to project all those frustrated emotions onto another, which means he would have come on strong to any girl who’d caught his eye. And what...
pair of teenagers wouldn’t be attracted to a secret, forbidden relationship and the dizzy feeling that it’s the two of them against the world? The idea of star-crossed lovers overcoming the odds is an attractive one, even today. With all that in play, it’s fair to say that Juliet’s ideas of love and marriage are heavy on idealism and imagination, and sorely lacking inrealism.