Romeo and Juliet - Analysing the extract

The question

Starting with this extract, analyse how Shakespeare presents Capulet's attitudes towards his daughter, Juliet. How does he portray their relationship?

For the first part of the essay question, you must analyse how Shakespeare presents Capulet's attitudes towards his daughter, Juliet.

Look again at the extract below with some highlighted points that you could write about in your answer. Remember to focus on how Shakespeare presents Capulet's attitudes towards his daughter, Juliet.

JULIET:

Good father, I beseech you on my knees,

Hear me with (1) patience but to speak a word.

(2) [She kneels down.]

CAPULET:

(3) Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!

I tell thee what: get thee to church a' Thursday

Or never after look me in the face.

(4) Speak not, reply not, do not answer me.

(5) My fingers itch. Wife, we scarce thought us blessed

That God had lent us but this only child,

But now I see this one is too much,

And that we have a curse in having her.

(6) Out on her, hilding!

  • (1) 'patience' - this is dramatic irony as patience is something that Capulet doesn't have, thus highlighting the lack of patience he has which contributes to Juliet's death.
  • (2) [She kneels down] - this highlights the authority Capulet has over Juliet and also Juliet's desperate pleading which he ignores.
  • (3) 'Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!' - use of insulting language directed at Juliet clearly shows Capulet's disgust. Use of exclamation mark highlights his anger.
  • (4) 'Speak not, reply not, do not answer me' - authoritative language - instructions that he directs towards Juliet.
  • (5) 'My fingers itch'' - this is a direct threat of violence. Capulet's 'fingers itch' because he wishes to punish Juliet because of her behaviour.
  • (6) 'Out on her, hilding!' - the use of the word 'hilding' is a derogative term, meaning worthess, and highlights Capulet's disgust. The exclamation mark highlights his anger.