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God's bread! it makes me mad! Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play, alone, in company, still my care hath been to have her match'd: and having now provided a gentleman of noble parentage, of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train'd, stuff'd, as they say, with honourable parts, proportion'd as one's thought would wish a man; and then to have a wretched puling fool, a whining mammet, in her fortune's tender, to answer 'I'll not wed; I cannot love, I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.' But, as you will not wed, I'll pardon you: Graze where you will you shall not house with me: Look to't, think on't, I do not use to jest. Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise: An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend; And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets, for, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee, nor what is mine shall never do thee good: Trust to't, bethink you; I'll not be forsworn.
~ Capulet revealing his true colors.

Lord Fulgencio Capulet, better known as Lord Capulet or simply Capulet, is the main antagonist in the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet, taking the place of the notorious rival Tybalt after the latter's death.

History

Lord Capulet is the patriarch of the Capulet family - one of the two most powerful families in Verona, rivaling the Montague family. He was an ambitious and self-centered social climber who was hell-bent on becoming richer - in spite of the fact that he was already extremely wealthy.

His plan throughout the course of the play was to coerce Juliet into marrying Paris - an extremely popular and resourceful aristocrat. He wants this because when two people are married, they and their families have access and right to any money and any property that either of them has.

Initially, however, Lord Capulet is presented as a kind-hearted and sensible character. When the ambitious Paris asks to marry Juliet in the beginning, Lord Capulet says she's much too young, and alludes to his guilt about marrying his own wife when she had been too young. The lord eventually relents and tells Paris he can attempt to charm Juliet, but it is ultimately her choice that matters.

Lord Capulet holds a party at the commencement of the play to give Paris a chance to woo Juliet. During this event, Lord Capulet was unusually ignorant to any problems at his party that would ruin his plans. This is shown when Romeo and his friends enter the party under false invitations, and Lord Capulet prevents Tybalt - his fiery and aggressive nephew - from fighting Romeo because it would damage Capulet's reputation in front of his guests.

When Tybalt refuses this demand, Lord Capulet turns to violence and turns his nephew away. This makes him partly responsible to Romeo and Juliet's romance, since if he had allowed Tybalt to fight Romeo, then Juliet and Romeo would never have met in the first place.

Later on in the play, posterior to Tybalt's death, which deeply hurts the Capulet family, Lord Capulet decides to disregard Juliet's feelings and easily manipulates Paris into quickening the marriage to that very week. However, when Juliet politely refuses to marry Paris, Lord Capulet flies into a violent rage - his Villainous Breakdown. He attacks Juliet and his wife, threatening to throw Juliet on the streets if she didn't marry Paris. This provokes Juliet into the plan to fake her death, which eventually leads to her actual death.

When Capulet realizes that Juliet and Romeo both died as a result of all this, he somberly reforms, offering to end the feud with the Montagues.

Personality

Lord Capulet appeared, in public eyes, to be benevolent, wealthy, wise and grandfatherly. However, his true nature was another matter entirely. He was an extremely ambitious megalomaniac who sought nothing more than to climb further up the social ladder. He was extremely narcissistic and arrogant, only thinking for himself and nobody else. Capulet was also highly intelligent, cunning and manipulative, able to manipulate situations to his own advantage with skillful ease. These traits make Lord Capulet a sociopath of the most horrific kind. Like most sociopaths, he was normally unbreakably calm and reserved in nature, but was capable of flying into intense outbursts of rage when he does not get his way - shown twice throughout the play.

Trivia

  • In the Romeo and Juliet ballet by Prokofiev, Lord Capulet's motif is the now-famous piece "Dance of the Knights"; it all the more sees a reprise when he shows his true, abusive nature to Juliet in response to the latter's refusal to marry Paris.
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