[ kap-yuh-let, -lit ]
/ ˈkæp yəˌlɛt, -lɪt /
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(in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet) the family name of Juliet.Compare Montague (def. 1).


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does Capulet mean?

Capulet is the family name of the character Juliet from William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet.

Juliet is the daughter of Lord and Lady Capulet. The house of Capulet is in a bitter feud with the house of Montague for reasons never revealed in the play. Other characters on the side of the Capulets include Lady Capulet’s nephew Tybalt, Juliet’s unnamed nurse, and the servants Sampson and Gregory.

In the play, Romeo falls in love with Juliet Capulet at first sight. Because of the feud, they meet in secret and eventually secretly get married. Later, Romeo is exiled from the city after killing Juliet’s cousin Tybalt out of revenge for Tybalt’s accidental killing of Mercutio.

Hearing of Romeo’s exile, Juliet devises a plan in which she fakes her own death so that she can meet Romeo in the Capulet family tomb. However, Romeo believes Juliet to actually be dead and kills himself with poison to join her in the afterlife. Upon discovering that Romeo is dead, Juliet stabs herself to death. The deaths of their children cause Lord Montague and Lord Capulet to end their feud.

Why is Capulet important?

The house of Capulet is one of the two central families in the play Romeo and Juliet, written by William Shaekespeare in the 1590s.

At the beginning of the play, Juliet Capulet is portrayed as a naive girl uninterested in romance. While Romeo spends most of the play hanging around with his friends and getting in exciting sword fights, most of Juliet’s scenes take place in her family home. Juliet doesn’t seem to have any friends her own age and instead interacts with older members of her family and older servants.

During the play, Juliet quickly grows up. She thinks carefully about her actions. She doesn’t simply obey Romeo but instead acts according to her intense love for him. Juliet’s death is also more violent than Romeo’s, requiring a more violent action from her. While Romeo dies of poison he drinks, Juliet has to stab herself in the chest.

Of the two houses, the Capulets are often considered less sympathetic. Capulet servants work hard to push Montague servants into fights, and Juliet’s cousin, Tybalt, wants to kill Romeo in a duel out of spite. Lord and Lady Capulet are also more concerned with the prestige of Juliet’s arranged marriage to the Count Paris than her personal feelings.

Did you know … ?

Romeo and Juliet has been re-imagined many times since movies began. The most famous is perhaps West Side Story, which places the story in New York City’s famous West Side.

What are real-life examples of Capulet?

This image depicts Juliet Capulet on her balcony.

Because Shakespeare is often taught in school, many people are familiar with the Montague and Capulet feud.

What other words are related to Capulet?

Quiz yourself!

True or False?

In Romeo and Juliet, Juliet is a member of the Capulet family.

How to use Capulet in a sentence