Rosa: Romeo and Juliet and Paris Essay example

Submitted By 1999-2000
Words: 1737
Pages: 7

hello i am doing this because i dont know whta im doing i just want this to be over and done with so i can sleep because it is get late and it is passed my bed timeAs the scene opens, Capulet is in the middle of a sentence: "But Montague is bound as well as I, / In penalty alike; and 'tis not hard, I think, / For men so old as we to keep the peace (1.2.1-3). It seems that he has just returned from his conference with Prince Escalus, and he's telling Paris about it. Capulet and Montague have been threatened with the same penalties if they disturb the peace, and Capulet is now trying to convince himself that it shouldn't be too hard for two old men to keep peace with each other. Paris makes a polite, neutral comment, then jumps to what is really on his mind -- Juliet.Paris asks, "But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?" (1.2.6). A "suit" is a request, especially one of great importance. Paris' suit is for Juliet's hand in marriage. The way that Paris says it -- "what say you to my suit?" --makes it clear that this is at least the second time that Paris has made this request. Capulet replies that -- as he's said before -- Juliet is very young, still "a stranger in the world" (1.2.8), and not yet fourteen. He urges Paris to wait two more years before he thinks of marrying her, but Paris says, "Younger than she are happy mothers made" (1.2.12). (Paris is about half-right. We don't know how happy they were about it, but it's true that girls could be married off at a very young age. However, it wasn't the norm. In the England of Shakespeare's time, the average age of women on their wedding day was between nineteen and twenty. Shakespeare himself married when he was eighteen and his bride was twenty-six.) Paris' argument doesn't carry much weight with Capulet, who replies, "And too soon marr'd are those so early made" (1.2.13). Capulet may be thinking about more than the psychological effects of early marriage. Childbirth was dangerous for both the mother and the baby, and Capulet has had some personal experience with such dangers. Later in the play we learn that his wife was about Juliet's age when Juliet was born. Now Capulet says "The earth hath swallow'd all my hopes but she [Juliet]" (1.2.14). It's very likely this means that Capulet's girl-bride lost several other children.

Capulet is in somewhat of a quandary. He wants his daughter to be happy, but he doesn't want to marry her off at such a young age, yet he doesn't want to turn away a perfectly eligible suitor. He solves his problem for the time being by advising Paris to woo Juliet, and saying "My will to her consent is but a part" (1.2.17), which means that even if he agrees to the marriage, Juliet has the final say. (Later in the play he will drastically change his attitude about this.) Capulet then invites Paris to an annual feast he has planned for that night. He tells Paris it will be a very big party, where he will see "Earth-treading stars that make dark heaven light" (1.2.25). He means that the ladies will be so beautiful that they will shine like stars come down to earth. Capulet goes on to tell Paris he will feel the kind of delight that young men feel in April, when everything looks and smells wonderful. Among all of these beautiful ladies, Capulet says, Paris should, "hear all, all see, / And like her most whose merit most shall be: / Which on more view of many, mine, being one, / May stand in number, though in reckoning none" (1.2.30-33). In other words, Paris is invited to check out all the beautiful ladies, and when he does, he may find that Juliet is only one more. It could turn out that when she is among a group of ladies ("stand in number") she won't count for much ("in reckoning none"). Is Capulet hoping Paris will find someone else and stop asking about Juliet? Or is he just being modest about his daughter? It's hard to tell.

After inviting Paris to his feast, Capulet gives his servant a list of other guests and tells him to go issue verbal…