What does Juliet think about marriage?

Juliet’s thoughts on marriage change during the play, so the answer to the question depends on whether we look in Act 1 Scene 3 or Act 2 Scene 2.

Juliet is first mentioned when Paris comes asking her father for Juliet’s hand in marriage. Her father tells Paris that her opinion counts, and that he will not force her to marry someone she does not love:

Capulet. But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to her consent is but a part;
An she agree, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.

We next see Juliet with her mother, who is working her from a different angle:

Lady Capulet. Marry, that ‘marry’ is the very theme
I came to talk of. Tell me, daughter Juliet,
How stands your disposition to be married?

Juliet. It is an honour that I dream not of.

There is the short answer for anybody just looking to get the homework answer. What does Juliet think about marriage? It is an honour she dreams not of.

Romeo at Juliet's Balcony
Romeo at Juliet’s Balcony. Image via Wikimedia Commons

But wait! She hasn’t met Romeo yet. Act 2, Scene 2, otherwise known as the famous balcony scene:

Juliet. Three words, dear Romeo, and good night indeed.
If that thy bent of love be honourable,
Thy purpose marriage, send me word to-morrow,
By one that I’ll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.

This is Shakespearean for, “If you like it then you’d better put a ring on it.” Juliet has gone from “I’m not really interested in getting married” to “Just tell me the time and the place and I’ll be there.”

 

 

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