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By William Shakespeare

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1 By William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet By William Shakespeare

2 How does Shakespeare use Paris as an unwitting threat to Romeo’s happiness?

3 “But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?”
Act 1 Scene 2 Paris asks Capulet whether he can marry Juliet. Romeo has not met Juliet yet so this is not a threat on his happiness. “But now, my lord, what say you to my suit?”

4 Act 3 Scene 5 Juliet is told that she will be married to Paris on Thursday (3 days time). This is a threat to Romeo’s happiness as it means he would lose his wife, of only a few days, to Paris. “Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn, The gallant, young, and noble gentleman, The county Paris, at Saint Peters’ church.”

5 Act 4 Scene 2 Capulet moved Juliet’s wedding forward to Wednesday. This is a threat to Romeo as there is less time for him to be told about Juliet’s plan. “send for the county, go tell him of this. I’ll have this knot knit up tomorrow morning”

6 Act 5 Scene 3 Romeo goes to spend his last night with Juliet however Paris is already there mourning her death. This threatens Romeo’s happiness as he wants to lie peacefully with Juliet but ends up fighting Paris instead. “This is the banished haughty Montague, It is supposed the fair creature died, And here is come to do some villainous shame To the dead bodies. I will apprehend him.” [steps forth]

7 How does Shakespeare use Paris as a means of creating a sense of tension and irony?

8 Act 3 Scene 4 Paris and Juliet’s wedding was arranged for Thursday. This created tension as Shakespeare was making it harder for Romeo and Juliet to be together. The irony in this was the fact Juliet and Romeo were already married. “A ‘Thursday let is be – a ‘Thursday, tell her, She shall be married to this noble earl.”

9 Act 4 Scene 1 Paris and Juliet’s wedding is brought forward as Capulet thinks Juliet is grieving over Tybalt’s death and a wedding would cheer her up. “Now, sir, her father counts it dangerous That she do give her sorrow so much sway; And in his wisdom hastes our marriage To stop the inundation of her tears,” Irony and tension is caused as Juliet is actually grieving over Romeo – her husband. She would rather die Romeo’s wife than marry Paris. “O bid me leap, rather than marry Paris… And I will do it without fear or doubt To live an unstained life to my sweet love.”

10 Act 5 Scene 3 In this scene Paris is grieving for Juliet, this creates irony as Paris and Juliet weren’t in love as this was an arranged marriage. “Or wanting that, with tears distilled by moans. The obsequies that I for thee will keep Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep” Was Paris in love with Juliet after all?

11 Act 1 Scene 5 The ball scene was created as this was the place where Juliet and Paris were supposed to meet. “What say you, can you love the gentleman? This night you shall behold him at our feast;” Ironically this is when Romeo falls in love with Juliet, and despite the Capulet’s plans Juliet spends the night lusting after Romeo instead of getting to know Paris.

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