In the Elizabethan times, men were considered more dominant than women. This meant that women were considered to be less important and didn’t have equal rights. They were not allowed to act, vote, inherit fathers name, inherit estates or to work in law, medicine and politics professions. Women would usually be housewives and mothers. The only real jobs they could get are being cooks, maids and or maybe a female painter.
As a man, to treat women equally and with respect would be quite odd in the Elizabethan times, like how Capulet shows it for Juliet throughout the play.
In Act 1 Scene 2, Capulet tells Paris that Juliet is not yet old enough to marry him. “My child is yet a stranger”. This indicates that Capulet is concerned for Juliet and that he is not like any other typical Elizabethan father. In addition, Capulet says Juliet is not yet “ripe” also gives the idea to the audience that she is not yet ready. The adjective could mean that she still needs to learn more or that Juliet not yet being “Ripe”, means that she cannot yet become a mother. Capulet also shows his respect for Juliet as he picks a husband for her. All of the Elizabethan fathers did this but Capulet wanting to get Juliet the right kind of man for her as the man had to win her heart themselves.
In Act 1 Scene 2, Capulet says to Paris, “Get her heart”. This shows that Capulet is not forcing Juliet to have Paris as her husband as he wants Paris to show Juliet himself that he is worthy enough for her. Because he wants Paris to do this it shows that Capulet is very concerned for Juliet and that he cares a lot over who her husband will be.
Capulet describes women to be Earth-treading stars in Act 1 Scene 2 which would be very odd for the time. The metaphor “Earth-treading stars” shows a very positive attitude towards women in the Elizabethan times. Capulet describes women as if they are too good for earth but still live on it, almost as if they were angels.
Meanwhile, Tybalt wants to fight Romeo but Romeo refuses to fight because Tybalt doesn’t know that Romeo and Juliet are married (dramatic irony is taking place as the audience knows Romeo and Juliet are married but Tybalt doesn’t). Mercuitio then stands up for Romeo, then Tybalt kills Mercuitio.
In Act 3 Scene 4, Capulet also clearly considers himself the dominant member of the family. Capulet, talking about Juliet, says that “She will be ruled”. This is one point that indicates that Capulet is showing the side of him that is more like a typical Elizabethan father. The fact that he uses the verb “She will be ruled” shows that he thinks himself of some sort of king that should have all of his orders obeyed.
Capulet also shows his authority in Act 3 Scene 4 by saying that he doubts Juliet will disobey him by refusing to marry Paris. Capulet told Paris “I doubt it not”. Once again this shows how Capulet has become more of a typical Elizabethan father. In addition, the semi-colon breaks up Capulet’s first thoughts, and then his after thought. “By me; nay more”, “By me” shows the first thought and “nay more”. The effect of this is that he is reassuring himself in his after thought.
Also in Act 3 Scene 4, Capulet shows how he can empathize with Juliet. “She’ll not come down tonight”. This points out that Capulet can empathize and put himself in Juliet’s shoes. This once again highlights Capulet’s care and concern for Juliet.
Meanwhile, Romeo had gone to see Juliet but the both families didn’t know about it (dramatic irony is taking place again as the audience knows Romeo had gone to see both families).
In Act 3 scene 5, Capulet threatens Juliet after she wasn’t happy about the early marriage. “Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!” “Hang thee, young baggage” and “wretch” have harsh sounding constantans in them like the “b” for “baggage” and the “ch” sound at the end of the word “wretch”. Both suggests how angry Capulet is. Also the exclamation mark at the end of the line contributes to show Capulet being mad at Juliet for not wanting to marry Paris. In addition, Capulet gets more and more aggressive throughout his speech which indicates how important he thinks the marriage is.
In Act 3 scene 5, Capulet is once again shown as the dominant one in the family. Juliet said “my lord and father” to Capulet. She said lord before father so that means that she thinks of him as a lord before her father. This is another point that indicates Capulet to be more of a typical Elizabethan father that thinks less of women.
As the play moves in Act 4 scene 2, there is more dramatic irony as Juliet is backing down to Capulet, but the audience knows that she does not mean any of it as she really just wants his trust so she can be with Romeo and Capulet thinks she is telling the truth.
Also in Act 4 scene 2, Juliet is telling Capulet what he wants to hear so she will make Capulet think she wants to marry Paris so she can then fake her death. “Henceforward I am ever ruled by you”. Juliet thinks this is what Capulet wants to hear to make him happy, this means he likes to have control and it makes him happier. Juliet also uses the word “behests”, which is also a controlling word that contributes to Capulet being in control.
In Act 4 scene 2, Capulet makes the wedding happen the next day. “Prepare up him Against tomorrow”. Capulet thinks that changing the wedding date to the next day will cheer up Juliet. He is also excited about it which adds to the idea he is happy for Juliet and wants to make her happier.
Meanwhile, Juliet has taken the potion and everyone assumes she’s dead but the audience know she isn’t really dead ( there is more dramatic irony as the audience knows that Juliet is not really dead but both families thinks she is).
In Act 4 scene 5, Capulet still thinks of himself as Juliet’s lord. “Her lord is come”. This, again, reinforces what Capulet thinks of himself compared to Juliet.
In Act 4 scene 5, Capulet is in shock after he thinks Juliet is dead. “An untimely frost”. As he thinks Juliet is dead and it has come to a shock to him shows how much he cared about her and that he didn’t want to lose her.
Capulet can be both, concerned and caring for Juliet and also can be more like a typical Elizabethan father to Juliet and treat her with less respect than people would now. Throughout “Romeo and Juliet” he was more of a concerned and caring father to Juliet but could also treat her worse when he gets angry. Overall Capulet treats women with a lot more respect than a typical Elizabethan father would in their current time.