Annotated list of all appearances and all mentions

of the

Servingman in the house of Capulet


Soon after Lady Capulet tells Juliet that Paris is the husband for her, the Servingman rushes in to say "Madam, the guests are come, supper served" (1.3.100), and that she, Juliet, and the Nurse must come to the feast. This servingman could well be the "Clown" we have seen before or the First Servant who speaks in the opening of the next scene. [Scene Summary]


Despite the fact that Juliet hasn't agreed to marry Paris, her father proceeds to make the arrangements for her wedding feast. Capulet bustles about, giving orders. He hands the guest list to a servant, saying "So many guests invite as here are writ" (4.2.1); as that servant hurries away, Capulet gives an order to another servant: "Sirrah, go hire me twenty cunning cooks" (4.2.2). Capulet seems to be in a good mood, so the servant starts a little joke, saying, "You shall have none ill, sir; for I'll try [i.e., test them by seeing] if they can lick their fingers" (4.2.3-4). A bit puzzled, Capulet asks what kind of test that will be, and the servant finishes off his joke with a truism: "Marry, sir, 'tis an ill cook that cannot lick his own fingers" (4.2.6-7), which is like saying that it's not a good sign if the cook at a fancy restaurant lunches at a burger stand. [Scene Summary]


In the bustle of the preparations for the wedding between Juliet and Paris, in come some servingmen carrying firewood, skewers, and baskets. Capulet asks one of them what all that is, and the servingman answers, "Things for the cook, sir; but I know not what" (4.4.15). He probably means that there's stuff in the baskets that he hasn't even looked at. Someone just handed them to him and told him to get a move on, a message which Capulet now repeats: "Make haste, make haste" (4.4.16). The servingmen do make haste, but before the last one gets out the door, Capulet thinks of something else to make things just right for Juliet's wedding feast, and he orders the last servingman to get drier logs for the fire. He tells him that Peter will tell him where to find the wood, but the servingman answers, "I have a head, sir, that will find out logs, / And never trouble Peter for the matter" (4.4.18-19). He means that he's smart enough to find logs without Peter's help, but Capulet makes a joke, saying, "Mass, and well said; a merry whoreson, ha! / Thou shalt be logger-head" (4.4.20-21). A "logger-head" is a blockhead, and a "whoreson" literally means "son of a whore," but Capulet's insults are all in good fun. He's in a very good mood. [Scene Summary]








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