Lady Capulet



Lady Capulet’s relationship with Juliet is somewhat unconventional. In their first interaction, she begins by sending the Nurse away so she can speak to her daughter privately, before immediately calling her back. It seems Lady Capulet might not be comfortable speaking of personal matters with Juliet. Moreover, it appears that the Nurse knows Juliet better than her mother, being able to note the precise hour of her birth. From the outset there is something strained about the mother-daughter relationship.


It is unclear whether Lady Capulet is happy with her marriage. We see little interaction between the two, apart from when they are admonishing Juliet. Yet she seems determined for Juliet to marry Paris and soon. It is likely that Paris is a lot closer in age to Juliet, than she was to her husband, and perhaps that is something she regretted. Her primary focus throughout the play appears to be getting Juliet to marry Paris. This again might be a presentation of the workings of a patriarchal society. When she finally refuses to marry Paris, her mother leaves her with a smarting blow : “Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.”


Yet there are two incidents where we see Lady Capulet seem to speak freely and act impulsively. One is when it seems Juliet is dead. She mourns the death of her only child strongly. Yet stronger still is another incident: Tybalt’s death. She is furious at his loss, demanding Montagues be killed for the murder, and refusing to believe Benvolio’s version of events. Later on, she is still saying to Juliet that she will have Romeo poisoned and will avenge him. This seems like a strong reaction, no? It is hard to fully justify, as there is a lack of textual evidence, but it could definitely be argued that there is a closeness between the two. And age wise they are likely to have been far closer than she is with her husband. Perhaps she has another reason for wanting Juliet out of the house…

Key Quotations

To Lord Capulet in the brawl: “A crutch, a crutch! Why call you for a sword?” (Act I, Sc i)

To the Nurse: “Nurse, give leave awhile./ We must talk in secret; nurse, come back again.” (Act I, Sc ii)

To Juliet: “I was your mother much upon these years/ That you are now a maid.” (Act I, Sc iii)

Following Tybalt’s death: “Romeo slew Tybalt, Romeo must not live.” (Act III, Sc i)

On Juliet’s sadness: “some grief shows much of love;/ But much of grief shows still some want of wit.”_ (Act III, Sc v)_

On Romeo: “We will have vengeance for it.” “Give him such an unaccustom’d dram/ That he shall soon keep Tybalt company.”_ (Act III, Sc v)_

On Juliet’s rejection of Paris: “I would the fool were married to her grave.” “Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.” (Act III, Sc v)

Believing Juliet dead: “O me, O me! My child, my only life,/ Revive, look up, or I will die with thee!”_ (Act IV, Sc v)_

“But one thing to rejoice and solace in,/ And cruel death hath catch’d it from my sight.” (Act IV, Sc v)

At Juliet’s actual death: “This sight of death is as a bell,/ That warns my old age to a sepulchre.” (Act V, Sc iii)