William Shakespeare, and Elizabethan man, is well known for his works as a playwright which have been distributed and remade into films and books alike for centuries. One of his most famous pieces of work is his play, Romeo and Juliet, which is also very well know throughout the world for its romanticism. Lord Capulet, a wealthy man, leader of his community, and father to Juliet can be considered as one of the plays main characters, but the question is can Lord Capulet be seen as a “good father”?
In the twenty- first century, a good father is a father who can be seen to love, cherish and take pride in his daughter, a father in whom a daughter could place her trust, and yet still know that it will not be abused. He should not only want the best for his daughter, but to show it too, through building a good father- daughter relationship, by talking, and sharing what is more commonly know as “quality time” together. This is one of the many key aspects of what can be called a “good father” in the 21st Century.
One might argue that he is not exactly the perfect father as he attempts to force Juliet to marry Paris even though she has made it very clear to him she does not wish to be with him. Lord Capulet is infuriated at her disobeying ways, as in Elizabethan times it was considered correct for the father to set up an “arranged marriage” or in other words, find a man for his daughter and force them to be married. It was also considered a greatly punishable crime to disobey the man of the house, especially if you were women, as in those days women were considered to be subservient to men.
On the other hand, however, it can be argued that Lord Capulet is making an attempt to be a good father to his daughter Juliet, as he is only trying to find a good man (All be in his view) for his daughter to marry, I know this because he says “o’ Thursday, tell her, she shall be married to this noble earl.” (Act 3 Scene 4)- He refers to him as a “noble earl”, which tells me that Capulet has a good deal of respect for Paris. It cannot be said that Paris is a bad person to have been considered to marry Juliet, and in Lord Capulet eyes is a wealthy, handsome, and respectable man, well suited for the marriage of his daughter. This tells me that Lord Capulet must care about Juliet and have some feelings for her because he is making an effort to find her a good husband to marry, to keep her in the manner to which she is accustomed, even if Juliet does not remotely have any attraction and does not necessarily agree with her fathers views on the subject.
Later on in the play, Juliet takes a potion that will lay her to rest for forty two hours after which she will wake, and after she has taken this poison and Lord Capulet believes her to be dead, he shows signs of emotion and sadness- “O child! O child! my soul, and not my child! Dead art thou! Alack! my child is dead; And with my child my joys are buried.” (Act 4 Scene 4), where Capulet says “And with my child my joys are buried”, It shows that his happiness and joys at his daughter being married to the one man who he feels is fit to make a husband, are disposed of as he looks upon his one and only last child, whom he believes to be laid to rest. I believe that Capulet wanted to keep the spirits high in his house, and avoid any forms of depression, sadness, or even mourning.
I know this because Capulet says “Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly, and so did I:–Well, we were born to die.” (Act 3 Scene 4), whereby he is implying that although he may have loved Tybalt a great deal, just as Juliet had done, his death was inevitable and that they should all move on and forget about it. Once again in an attempt to avoid sadness and mourning in the Capulet household, he decides to organise an event to lighten the mood and spirits of the family, and he chooses Juliet’s marriage to Paris to be that event. The evidence for this is where Capulet says “Monday! ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon, O’ Thursday let it be: o’ Thursday, tell her, she shall be married to this noble earl.” (Act 3 Scene 4).
While it can be said that Lord Capulet has attempted to be a good father to his daughter, he becomes extremely vexed by the fact that Juliet is not happy with her father’s choice of husband for her to wed. Whilst Lord Capulet is in a foul tempered mood, he says things that he does not really, truly feel, such as – “Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!” (Act 3 Scene 5), whereby he insults Juliet by calling her a “disobedient wretch” and then instead of attempting to talk things through with his daughter, come to an agreement and perhaps even find out exactly why she is not willing to marry Paris, he then gives her orders to be at the church on Thursday morning, the day proposed for her wedding to Paris – “I tell thee what: get thee to church o’Thursday” (Act 3 Scene 5), which if Juliet truly did not want to marry Paris, would only make things much worse, and then finally tells her that if she does not conform to his wishes she must leave the Capulet household and never come back for he cares about her no more – “Or never after look me in the face.”(Act 3 Scene 5). Whilst he is still angered he is tempted to beat Juliet and proclaims that he is ready and willing to hit her – “My fingers itch.” (Act 3 Scene 5).
To summarise I have found out that from the points I have analysed that although Lord Capulet may love his daughter and have all the best intentions for her in life, when she tries to make some decisions of her own Lord Capulet gets angered, and uses violence and threatens to banish her from the Capulet household to resolve this issue, so therefore in conclusion I deem Lord Capulet to be a bad father because I feel there are better ways to sort out disagreements than using violence and anger.