Act 1 Scene 2 Essays

Summary: Act 1, scene 2

On another street of Verona, Capulet walks with Paris, a noble kinsman of the Prince. The two discuss Paris’s desire to marry Capulet’s daughter, Juliet. Capulet is overjoyed, but also states that Juliet—not yet fourteen—is too young to get married. He asks Paris to wait two years. He assures Paris that he favors him as a suitor, and invites Paris to the traditional masquerade feast he is holding that very night so that Paris might begin to woo Juliet and win her heart. Capulet dispatches a servant, Peter, to invite a list of people to the feast. As Capulet and Paris walk away, Peter laments that he cannot read and will therefore have difficulty accomplishing his task.

Romeo and Benvolio happen by, still arguing about whether Romeo will be able to forget his love. Peter asks Romeo to read the list to him; Rosaline’s name is one of those on the list. Before departing, Peter invites Romeo and Benvolio to the party—assuming, he says, that they are not Montagues. Benvolio tells Romeo that the feast will be the perfect opportunity to compare Rosaline with the other beautiful women of Verona. Romeo agrees to go with him, but only because Rosaline herself will be there.

Read a translation of Act 1, scene 2 →

Analysis

This scene introduces Paris as Capulet’s pick for Juliet’s husband and also sets into motion Romeo and Juliet’s eventual meeting at the feast. In the process, the scene establishes how Juliet is subject to parental influence. Romeo might be forced into fights because of his father’s enmity with the Capulets, but Juliet is far more constrained. Regardless of any inter-family strife, Juliet’s father can force her to marry whomever he wants. Such is the difference between being a man and woman in Verona. It might seem a worse thing to be caught up in the violence of a brawl, but Juliet’s status as a young woman leaves her with no power or choice in any social situation. Like any other female in this culture, she will be passed from the control of one man to another. In this scene, Capulet appears to be a kind-hearted man. He defers to Juliet’s ability to choose for herself (“My will to her consent is but a part” [1.2.15]). But his power to force her into a marriage if he feels it necessary is implicitly present. Thus parental influence in this tragedy becomes a tool of fate: Juliet’s arranged marriage with Paris, and the traditional feud between Capulets and Montagues, will eventually contribute to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet. The forces that determine their fate are laid in place well before Romeo and Juliet even meet.

The specter of parental influence evident in this scene should itself be understood as an aspect of the force wielded over individuals by social structures such as family, religion, and politics. All of these massive social structures will, in time, throw obstacles in the path of Romeo and Juliet’s love.

Peter, who cannot read, offers a touch of humor to this scene, especially in the way his illiteracy leads him to invite two Montagues to the party while expressly stating that no Montagues are invited. But Peter’s poor education is also part of the entrenched social structures. Juliet has no power because she is a woman. Peter has no power because he is a lowly servant and therefore cannot read.

Shakespeare's tips for breaking up with someone

Romeo, of course, is still lovelorn for Rosaline; but the audience can tell at this point that Romeo will meet Juliet at the feast, and expectations begin to rise. Through Shakespeare’s ingenious manipulation of the plot, the audience starts to feel the rustlings of approaching fate.

Is Capulet Portrayed As A Good Father In Act 1 Scene 2?

How far Shakespeare presents Lord Capulet as a good father in this whole conversation.

Part 1)

In Act 1 Scene 2 Capulet is portrayed as a considerate, responsible and loving father who is concerned about what is best for his daughter and see her as more than just an 'object' to be married off which isn't common as it was a very patriarchal society. By displaying these forms of affection the audiences' first impression of him is that he is a good father.

In Act 1 Scene 2 a noable young kinsmen of the Prince, asking Capulet for his daughter's hand in marriage. Capulet responds to Paris and tells him that Juliet has "not seen the change of fourteen years", he also describes Juliet as not yet "ripe to be a bride", this implies that Capulet believes that Juliet is too young for marriage, which in that society would seem slightly unusual as 14 is not an early age at which to get married, by saying this Tybalt respodes with "younger than [Juliet} are happy mothers made", which again shows that girls younger than Juliet are already mothers and that Juliet is not too 'young' for marriage, but when Capulet responds with a continued agrarian metaphor (lines 11-12, relating to land) " and too soon marred are those early made" turns things around indicating that he does not agree (or does not fully agree) with marrying at such a young age possibly because of the experience of Juliet and his previous children and furthermore, one could interpret the word 'marred', in a myriad of different ways, for instance the audience may well interpret as it meaning an expanding fruit ("ripen") , being marred (spoilt) by early marriage which alludes to how early marriage can cause young child birth and the word "ripen" alludes to motherhood, this may mean that he fears Juliet to grow up too quickly, and transition from childhood into motherhood it could also mean that he is marring Juliet's virginity and a slight foreshadowing of the marring that is indeed to come by "those so early made" (Juliet & Romeo), there may also be an additional pun on marred/ "merd" (dung/fertilizer).

This small section displays Capulet's concern about welfare of his daughter and alludes to him not wanting her to be maried at such and early age which shows that he does not just see her as an object like most men see women in the patriarchal society, which that he cares for Juliet and is a good father, in addition when Shakespeare uses the word "ripen" it evokes the ideas of flowers and frequently flowers are meant to symbolise beauty- which means that he does not just care about Juliet getting married but considers her beautiful- and also the image of a flower that will develop and grow overtime and with time with have increasing beauty and happiness, which indicates...

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