Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet


William Shakespeare

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Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 4 Summary & Analysis

Read our modern English translation of this scene.
At the Capulet manor, Capulet laments to Paris that in the midst of all the chaos surrounding Tybalt’s death, there has been no time to “move” Juliet to happy thoughts of marrying Paris. Paris assures Capulet and Lady Capulet that he understands. Lady Capulet promises Paris that, in the morning, she’ll talk to Juliet about the marriage. Capulet insists Juliet will listen to her parents—today is Monday, and he promises Paris that the two of them will be married by Thursday—the earliest their family could possibly be excused for abandoning their grief over Tybalt and enjoying the festivities of a wedding. Paris says he wishes that tomorrow was Thursday. Capulet tells his wife to go visit Juliet on her way up to bed and get her ready for a wedding—it will take place as soon as possible.
In this brief scene, the Capulets scheme behind their daughter’s back to marry Juliet off to Paris. Earlier in the play Capulet stated that any marriage to Paris was contingent on Juliet's consent. But now he has changed his tune. It is a matter of interpretation what motivates Capulet to shift his stance at this moment. It may be that he is simply trying to shift the mood from sadness over Tybalt's death to joy over marriage. But it might also be that, after Tybalt's death in a fight with a Montague, Capulet is trying to shore up his political position in Verona against the Montagues by immediately forging an alliance with a kinsman of Prince Escalus. Either way, though, what is clear is that Capulet's earlier position wasn't strongly held, and that he is willing to tell his daughter what to do in service to some benefit other than her own, and that he expects her to obey.
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