Discuss how Shakespeare has developed the character of Lord Capulet in ‘Romeo And Juliet’ to influence the action, illustrate themes of the play and add interest to the drama
Romeo And Juliet’ is a very famous love story which was set in Fair Verona in Itlay. The time was set around 16th to 17th century. The theme for this story is love, hate and parenthood. Lord Capulet is introduced as Juliet’s father in the play and a member of the Capulet family.
Lord Capulet is first established of being a foolish and childish person in the first scene as he is first seen in the fight between two families (the Capulets and the Montague). The reason why I say that he is because he orders for his sword to be brought out, which he knows that at his age he is not capble of getting in fights, at the beginning of the play.
In the second scene Capulet talks to Paris, a wealthy young man of Verona about his daughter Juliet, although he thinks Juliet is too young to be a bride. He is not rushing into conclusions as he thinks Juliet’s herself has the right to make this decision. I think that he wants Paris to wait another two years because perhaps he wants Juliet to himself for a bit longer as she is the only child and is 14 years old. He invites Paris to a feast and says ‘Earth-treading starts make dark heaven light’. This means that here you would have a chance to meet her. Capulet wants Juliet and Paris to understand each other which shows me that he is careful and doesn’t want to rush in things. Shakespeare uses considerate language for this scene because so he knows that what kind of situation he is going to put Juliet in if he and Paris know where they stand amongst themselves.
Capulet here is very relaxed and calm at the day of the feast and things are all going according to plan. He welcomes his guest and encourages them to dance. This reaction shows he is very generous to his guests and is happy. It shows me a pleasure theme at the beginning of the scene. But towards the middle Tybalt who is a Capulet recognises Romeo who is at the ball too and has a word with Lord Capulet. Capulets then says ‘A bears him like a portly gentlemen’, he is behaving like himself like a well mannered person. He knows that he is a Montague one of his enemies but he decides not to do anything. Here he is relaxed but a little tensed as he wants nothing to go wrong. Tybalt is very concerned about this matter and continually is tying o start a fight, but Capulet then says that ‘He is well governed, therefore take no note of him, it is my will’ Here he is saying he is
well behaved and is not causing any problem. Take no notice of him as this is what I want. Tybalt protests but Capulet is firm meaning is solid. He is becoming very angry but does not want to show his guests his anger so he persuades Tybalt to leave and says he shall continue the way things are. In this scene you see Capulet is two sided, one when he is enjoying the feast he is happy and secondly his mood changes when Tybalt notices Romeo and wants something to be done, he becomes very irritated with this matter.
Here at the Capulets mansion Capulet says that because of what happened with Tybalt losing his life he had no chance to persuade Juliet himself about the marriage. This show me he has not forgot about the marriage. When he says ‘I think she will be ruled in all respects by me, nay me, I doubt it not’, this very moment he has decided that Juliet shall get married and will command his wishes. He knows that she would listen as she knows how much her father loves her. This shows me a happy, exciting scene as him and Paris has set a date for the wedding. When Capulet says ‘For hawk you, Tybalt being slain so late, it may be thought we held him carelessly, he means he wants the wedding celebrated so soon, and with a little ceremony because of the death of Tybalt.’ He is being very considerate of not forgetting Tybalt as though he was their blood, he shows me he is generous, caring and is kind of making things fair with the death and the marriage. As we audience we know that Juliet is already married, and we know more then him but what we don’t know is that what will happen next (Is Capulet going to find out about his daughter being married to Romeo his enemy)?
In Act 3 scene 5 right after Capulet let Paris marry
Juliet it shows Capulet is happy and excited to hear his daughter to say yes. He knows that she is going to say yes as in scene 4 he says to Paris ‘I think she will be ruled in all respects by me’. Here he is saying she will obey my command. But when lady Capulet tells him she has disobeyed his wishes, here he is very amazed and disgust to hear this and Capulet starts to ask questions. At this very minute he has become very enraged and shows a lot of temper. He tells Juliet that he has arranged the date on Thursday and she is going to be there or he shall drag her when he says ‘Gainst Thursday next, to go with Paris or I shall drag thee’. He is threatening her so she realises how her father really meant what he said and how the marriage meant important to him. He is very angry and does not know what he is saying as he says ‘Get thee to church a Thursday, or never after look me in the face.’
Here he is telling her as a final message that she must come on Thursday or he will never speak to her again. He is only shouting at her because he loves her and wants her to understand. At this incredibly moment he does not believe that he has a daughter: ‘Hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, For by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee,’ he says I shall never recognise you as my daughter. Here in this scene he uses strong and his character changes and by comparing him to other scenes he is now cruel and is hatred on his daughter as when he threatens her. The theme is hatred because Juliet disobeyed his wishes. As my point of view this draws an interest of a violent, spiteful and harsh character as he says all the stuff to Juliet about no matter what state she’s in or where she would be he wouldn’t careless about her. But only if he stopped and listened to her she would have had the chance to tell him she’s already married and things might have been different. As I see this marriage this is a force marriage which is not right to do.
In Act 4 scene 2 Capulet is very happy as he preparing for the wedding. Here he has changed his mood. Juliet walks in after seeing Friar Lawrence and has agreed to get married. When hearing this he becomes very relieved, and straight away decides to bring the wedding day, one day before the real one. His character shows he is forgiveness and is pleased with the decision she made. But however this also shows me that he is being hypocritical because when she rejected his wish he became very out of controlled but when she goes on to saying she has agreed, he gets very impressed because once again someone has agreed to do something his way which makes him very happy.
Act 4 scene 4 in Capulets house, they are making last minute preparations. Capulet is thoroughly enjoying himself. But he is being bossy as he says to one or two: ‘Make haste, make haste, sirrah fetch drier logs’. He is enjoying himself.
In Act 4 scene 5 Capulet is devastated to hear about Juliet’s death, Shakespeare puts poetic language in his mouth as he says ‘Death lies on her like an untimely frost.’ He is very stunned and confused and doesn’t understand how and why this happened but we know as audiences that she has only faked it because of what Friar Lawrence explained to her about the plan. We know that he still loves her because of what he says: ‘There she lies, flower as she was, deflowered by him’ he is saying look at her there she lies as a flower as she always has been. Only if he listened to Juliet the first time this would not have happened. In lines 63-64 ‘Dead art thou, alack my child is dead, And with my child my joys are buried’.
This quotation explains that Capulet thinks he is responsible for her death and is guilty. Capulet accepts his words and wants wedding to be transformed into a funeral as he says in lines 84-85 ‘All things that we ordained festival turn from their office to black funeral.’ I think that he is rushing by making the funeral preparations; he should at least spend last time with her (Juliet) and tell her how he is very sorry. One of the examples that he is ordering for the funeral preparations to be made, is when he says ‘Our solemn hymns’ meaning the hymns to celebrate the wedding, ‘To sullen dirges change’ change it to gloomy music for the funeral. Shakespeare draws a theme of a sadness and love in this scene and as audiences this scene is quite exciting because we know what the plan was and we want to see weather the plan will succeed without Capulet finding out or not
The last of the play and the last time seeing Capulet in Act 5 scene 3. Here they all find out the truth about Romeo And Juliet and how they loved each other that they gave up their own lives. Hearing this Capulet and Montague realise it was their feud which lead to the tragedy of their children. So the two families decide they will be no more fights and will be friends: ‘O brother Montague, give me thy hand, This is my daughters jointure, for no more can I demand.’ But the Montague announces that he can give more and is going to raise their statues in gold. As a final result this theme is regretful and both of the families feel empty after their loss of the loved ones.
Shakespeare all through the play uses different themes such as love, hate and parenthood. Capulet is involved in all these themes, but as for his character his main theme is love and parenthood. We as audience we see Capulet as two different sides of character, (example when someone obeys him and listens to him he is very happy but if like (Juliet) disobeys him he becomes very annoyed). I think that Shakespeare by purpose chose this character for Capulet (love as a father) so we know his character means important and gives us the story of what he tells her to get married because that’s what fathers are meant to do. Over all I think that this play is establish on what your heart says and try to make your parents understand about love and marriage which is what this play is all about. But as long as your parents realise what you are going through. Shakespeare around some places uses strong spiteful language (in act 3 scene 5) because the words make the character stand out along with the situation of Capulet; he stands out when he utilizes these words to Juliet.