‘And too soon marr’d are those so early made’.
Juliet is Capulets only child left after all his other children died:
…. ‘Earth hath swallow’d all my hopes but she;
She is the hopeful lady of my earth’,
because of this he loves her very much and does not want to lose her. He then says to Paris that if he can make Juliet love him, then he will agree to the marriage
‘But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part’,
he does not want to force Juliet in to anything and wants it to be her choice, this also proves that Capulet is a loving father.
The next scene that Capulet appears in is at the Capulet’s party- Act 1, scene 5. In this scene, Capulet is welcoming the guests:
‘Welcome, gentlemen! Ladies that have their toes
Unplagu’d with corns will walk a bout with you.’
At this point Capulet appears to be in a good mood as he tries to make his guests cheerful by talking about ladies and dancing. He is also is an organising mood, and he shows that he is in control of the party. Capulet then starts talking to his cousin and again talks about his age:
‘For you and I are past our dancing days’.
He still seems really happy as he talks to his cousin. However, his mood changes suddenly when he talks to Tybalt. Tybalt has noticed Romeo, the Montagues son at the feast,
‘This, by his voice, should be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier, boy’.
When Tybalt tells Capulet about Romeo, Capulet tells him to leave Romeo alone
‘Content thee, gentle coz, let him alone,’
this is surprising because it is not how the audience would expect Capulet to react to a Montague being at his feast in his house. But Tybalt wants his own way and says:
‘It fits when such a villain is a guest: I’ll not endure him’.
Capulet responds to this by saying ‘He shall be endur’d,’ this shows that he has become quite angry with Tybalt for not putting up with Romeo, he repeats the word ‘endur’d’ that Tybalt used but in the opposite sense, to emphasize that his orders will be followed because he says so. Capulet also says ‘Am I the master here, or you?’, this shows the authoritative side of him, and that he is in charge and will not let anyone manipulate him. He then goes on to insult Tybalt: ‘You are a saucy boy’ and ‘You are a princox’ this is the first part in the book that Capulet’s nasty side starts coming out.
In Act 3, scene 4 it is Monday late evening and Capulet, his wife and Paris are talking in Capulet’s house. The scene starts with Capulet saying:
‘Things have fall’n out, sir, so unluckily
That we have had no time to move out daughter.
Look you, she lov’d her kinsman Tybalt dearly,
and so did I’,
Capulet is talking about how we all die and prehaps this brings home to him his age, especially after the party. Capulet then tells Paris he will agree to him and Juliet getting married,
‘Sir Paris I will make a desperate tender
Of my child’s love: I think she will be rul’d
In all respects by me; nay more, I doubt it not’.
He has now changed his mind about letting Juliet decide if she wants to marry Paris and is going to make her. He shows his power/ authority by doing this and expects Juliet to do as she is told and be grateful. Capulet orders his wife to tell Juliet about his decision ‘Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed, Acquaint her here of my son Paris’ love’ Juliet has not even married Paris yet, and already he is calling him his ‘son’. Capulet also decides when the wedding takes place, ‘A’ Thursday let it be- a’ Thursday, tell her’, He does not care if this is convenient for any of the people involved including Paris and his family, he just decides and his decision is final. This again shows how powerful he is.
We next see Capulet when Lady Capulet tells Juliet about the marriage to Paris that he had arranged, she refuses:
‘I will not marry yet, and when I do, I swear
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate, ….
Rather than Paris’.
Lady Capulet then says,
‘Here comes your father, tell him so yourself;
And see how he will take it at your hands’,
She knows that Capulet is going to be furious with Juliet so she wants to keep out of it and does not want to be blamed for Juliet’s decision. When Capulet first enters this scene, he sees Juliet crying and assumes her tears are for Tybalt and is kind and thoughtful towards her: ….
‘Do ebb and flow with tears; the bark thy body is,
Sailing in this salt flood; the winds, thy.sighs,
Who raging with thy tears and they with them, will overset
Thy tempest-tossed body’.
Again his mood drastically changes and he flies in to a towering rage when he hears that Juliet does not want to do as she is told and marry Paris,
‘How, will she none? Doth she not give us thanks? Is she not proud? doth she not count her
blest, Unworthy as she is that we have wrought So worthy gentleman to be her bride?’
Capulet tries to make it sound as if he has been looking for a long time for a suitable husband for Juliet and that he has worked very hard to find one, this is not true. At this point Capulet is not at his worst temper but it is building up.When Juliet speaks and tries to stop him from being angry, he gets even more furious and threatens her:
‘But fettle your fine joints ‘gainst Thursday next, To go with Paris to Saint Peter’s Church, ….Or I will drag thee on a hurdle thither. Out you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage!
You tallow face!’
A ‘hurdle thither’ is what prisoners were dragged along by a horse to execution with, so it is a really nasty thing for Capulet to say to Juliet. He also insults the way she looks. This shows that Capulet can be nice one minute and completely abusive and violent the next. Juliet then gets down on her knees and begs her father to listen to her but he does not and just gets angrier and angrier. After insulting Juliet more, Capulet threatens to disown her:
‘I tell thee what: get thee to church a’Thursday, Or never after look me in the face’,
he has now proved that he is not the caring, loving father he appeared to be in Act 1, scene 2.
He even says Juliet is a curse and wishes she had not been born,
‘My finger itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blest
That God had lent us but this only child,
But now I see this one too much,
And that we have a curse in having her’.
Juliet’s nurse then tries to stick up for her, and Capulet is even nasty to her:
‘Peace, you mumbling fool!
Utter gravity o’er gossip’s bowl,
For here we need it not’.
He knows that Juliet is totally dependant on her family and would probably not survive without them, he uses this to try and get her to agree to marrying Paris,
‘But you will not wed, I’ll pardon you:
Graze where you will, you shall not house with me’.
Capulet also makes Juliet sound like his property
‘And you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend’.
Although Capulet knows that Juliet has refused to marry Paris, in Act 4, scene 2 he is preparing the feast for the wedding. When Juliet enters the scene to talk to him, he seems to have calmed down and is not as nasty to her as he was before,
‘How now, my headstrong, where have you been
He is then even more happy and pleased when Juliet says,
‘By holy Lawrence to fell prostrate here
To beg your pardon.
Henceforward I am ever ruled by you’.
Capulet believes that Juliet is consenting to marrying Paris, This is dramatic irony because he
does not know that Juliet has a way of getting out of the marriage. He is so delighted that Juliet has changed her mind, he moves the marriage a day forward ‘I’ll have this knot knit up
tomorrow morning’, again, he does not know or care if this is convenient for anyone involved. This scene shows that Capulet is only content if he gets exactly what he wants and everyone obeys him.
At the start of Act 4, scene 4, Capulet appears to be a happy mood and is making jokes because everything is going his way :
‘Come, stir, stir, stir! The second cock hath crow’d,
The curfew bell hath rung, ‘tis three a’clock.
Look to the bak’d meats, good Angelica,
Spare not for cost’.
However, by the next scene his mood changes when he finds out Juliet is ‘dead’. At first he does not believe lady Capulet when she tells him Juliet is dead, ‘Hah, let me see her’, he has to find out himself. When he does find out for himself he compares Juliet to a flower and death to frost:
‘Death lies on her like an untimely frost Upon the sweetest flower of all the field’, Capulet has now realised what he has lost and is in such deep shock that he cannot even talk,
‘Death that hath tane her hence to make me wail Ties up my tongue and will not let me ….speak’.
He then compares death to a person that has taken everything away from him and marrying Juliet:
‘Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir,
My daughter he hath wedded. I will die,
And.leave him all; life, living, all is Death’s’.
This is dramatic because it was not long ago when he was insulting Juliet and wishing she was never born. At the end of the book, Capulet has realised that Juliet’s life was taken because of his and Montague’s selfish quarrelling, and wants to shake hands with him:
‘O brother Montague, give me thy hand.
This is my daughter’s jointure, for no more
Can I demand’.
Overall I think that Capulet is a very changeable character; sometimes he is really kind and caring and at other times he is really bad- tempered and cruel. He likes to have control over everyone and make sure that they know he is in charge. Also it takes something as extreme as his daughter dying for him to realise that his arguing with Montague is unnecessary and selfish. This is very tragic because if he was not so selfish then Juliet and Romeo might not of died so young.