Count Paris's Love For Juliet As A Foil For Romeo' Essay

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During the sixteenth century in Italy, marriages were pre-arranged by the parents and/or guardians, whether or not their children had passionate feelings for each other.   Such is the case in William Shakespeare’s tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.   The prospective groom, County Paris, actually appears to love his intended wife Juliet, who, unfortunately for Paris, loves another man—Romeo.   Under scrutiny, Paris’s love for Juliet rings false, while Romeo only professes his own love more deeply.   Paris’s insincere love does no justice to his case; in fact, it serves to further illuminate the legitimacy of Romeo’s adoration.
There are three causes of Paris’s apparent love: social obligation, political and economic advantage, and being in love with the idea of love.   As far as the first motive goes, Paris may be obligated to maintain the appearance of love in order to retain social propriety.   As a member of a royal family, and the bearer of the title “County,” certain standards of conduct are expected from him.   If, after his betrothed dies, he immediately starts wooing another girl, his reputation as a fine and upstanding gentleman will be ruined, and he will be hard-pressed to find a new wife of appropriate status.     Juliet’s family, the Capulets, are influential, upper-class citizens, and so would be highly offended if Paris does not pay his respects to their deceased daughter.   He would also lose the respect of   Prince Escales, ruler of their city Verona, who refers to Paris as one of his “…brace of kinsmen (5. iii. Ln 295).”
Paris may also entertain the pretense of love for Juliet in order to advance himself both economically and politically in society.   If he cuts off his ties with Juliet’s family, they would not be eager to support his future exploits.   By vowing to visit her tomb every evening, he remains in the Capulet family’s good graces—he would thus possibly gain additional status or even wealth from their generosity.   Additional wealth could be advantageous...

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