The Capulet family is one of pride and high social standing. It consists of Lord and Lady Capulet, their young daughter Juliet, and their kinsman Tybalt. They have a nurse, as well, who has taken care if Juliet since she was born. They get along quite well, yet, like all families, they have their differences. However, one thing that happens frequently when two members of the family disagree on something, is that usually, someone gives in to their “superior,” regardless if they agree or not.
One example is when Romeo shows up at the Capulets’ party uninvited and Tybalt wants to throw him out. Lord Capulet objects to this by saying, “He shall be endured…I say he shall…Am I the master here or you?” For a little bit, Tybalt argues, but he very soon backs down and lets Capulet have his way. Perhaps the reason why this happens is that the “inferior” person is somewhat intimidated by the “superior.”
This intimidation that some of the characters produce on each other shows that there is not a great deal of communication in the family. Throughout Act I, there were several more examples of characters yielding to others and not standing up for what they believe. For instance, when Lady Capulet brought up the idea of Juliet marrying Paris, Juliet just went along with the concept, even though that was possibly not what she wanted.
An even more significant instance of such a thing occurring in the fact that Juliet feared to tell her parents that she had fallen in love with Romeo, a Montague. She knew that if she informed them of how she felt, they would get angry and maybe disown her, just because of their hate for all Montagues.
That is another of the Capulet family’s flaws. They are rather narrow-minded because of their continuing, senseless conflict with the Montagues.
Both households are of equal fault in this case, but that only proves that the two families are alike in that way. Even still, if the Capulets believe that they truly are the more dignified, they should have ceased their dispute earlier and prevented their daughter’s unhappiness (and eventually death).
Instead, they decided to keep the feud going and believe that all Montagues are the same and that all should be despised. As head of the family, Lord Capulet is largely responsible for everything that has been going on, but despite his closed-mindedness, he is still a pretty admirable man. He is a good father who only wants the best for his daughter.
He doesn’t realize though, that marrying Romeo is what really is best for Juliet. It is what she truly wants and it is the only thing that will make her happy. Capu1et exposes a different side of himself in the first scene than in most of the rest of the play.
In Scene I, he only says a few lines but he still communicates the fact that he is angry at Montague and he wants to fight. Later in Scene II he says, “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.”
This verse displays his more compassionate side; the part of him who is tired of fighting and who just wants it all to stop. The Capulets are a lot like all other families. Obviously, the problems and fights that normal families have aren’t as extreme as the Capulets’, but everyone has obstacles to get through and the Capulets are no different in this manner.
Of course, they lack some communication, and they should have been more open-minded, but they were pretty functional. Maybe that’s the way most families were in Verona so long ago.
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