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Review of "Essays"

published 01/04/2005 | userisdead
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"Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 5"

This is my essay i've done for part of mt G.C.S.E, i wrote this in year 10 so be kind, lol.

Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 5 Analyses

Introduction and Plot

“Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride” heart breaking irony is found throughout Shakespeare’s masterpieces but non-more so than in the epic tale of “Romeo and Juliet”. One of the key scenes in this play is Act 3 Scene 5. This is a powerful scene where the two lovers “Romeo and Juliet” have spent their wedding night together secretly in the Capulet’s orchard before the following day where Romeo must leave for Mantua. After Romeo leaves, Juliet is told by her mother that she is to be married to Paris in two days. After Juliet refuses, using clever mature language her father, Lord Capulet comes to her and threatens to throw her out on to the streets if she does not marry Paris. Juliet is then left with the nurse. Juliet asks the nurse to comfort her, but although the nurse was no comfort, Juliet lets her think that she was.


“I would the fool were married to her grave”, chilling words from anyone, so to hear these words come from your mothers lips is a catastrophic condemnation. Through out Act 3 Scene 5 the language used by Juliet changes quite regularly depending on emotions and who Juliet is talking too. Another example of the language change in this Scene is by Lord Capulet, who starts off calm and collected, but when he realizes he is being disobeyed his language dramatically changes, and he starts using 1590s insults that in them times would be seen as a big shock like our modern day swear words. The language plays the key role in this scene especially when Juliet is sobbing, when she says “I never shall be satisfied with Romeo, till I behold him -dead- Is my poor heart for a kinsman vex’d.” this can be read in two totally different ways. The one her mother thinks she means is that she wont be satisfied till she beholds Romeo dead. But what she really means is that she wont rest till she beholds Romeo, and then she goes on to say “dead is my poor heart for a kinsman vex’d”. Although Juliet is clever with words she is not as clever with them as Romeo is, “What envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.” Is just one of his thousands of clever lines, in this one he suggesting that their love is so magnificent that the sky its self is jealous of it. Another clever quote in this scene by Romeo is “jocound day stands tip toe on the misty mountain tops” in saying this he has personify dawn as a man about to leap across the mountain tops any second. When telling Juliet he must leave he uses antithesis “I must be gone and live, or stay and die” in doing this there is never a dull sentence or paragraph and is permanently making the reader think and impressed.

Throughout “Romeo and Juliet” good and bad is associated with light and dark but non more so than in Act 3 Scene 5. Although light is usually seen as happiness and good, in act 3 scene 5 it takes a dramatic twist in to being the enemy. This is because when daybreak comes Romeo will have to leave for Mantua and part from Juliet. When morning comes Romeo says he must leave, but Juliet does not want him to and they start to debate whether it is morning or night. It is here when Romeo suggests the light is the lovers’ enemy, “More light and light; more dark and dark are woes!” After this Juliet says “Then, window, let day in, and life out.” Meaning the day (light) is what takes away her will to live (Romeo).


Act 3 scene 5 is made up of five main parts which hold the scene together. The first part in this scene is with Romeo and Juliet who are loving and passionate to each other with their language, I know this because of the words they use such as “Believe me, love”, “look, love” and “love, lord, ay, husband, friend!” The second part in the scene is held together with Juliet and lady Capulet’s discussion about Tybalt being killed in this part between them it starts off with them being nice yet formal because lady Capulet thinks Juliet as agreeing with her about Romeo, because of Juliet’s cleverness with her words, but as this part progresses lady Capulet tells Juliet of her marriage to Paris and when Juliet tells her mother she does not want to marry you can tell by the language used she is not happy but does not yet condemn Juliet she simply says “Here comes your father; tell him so yourself, And see how he will take it at your hands.” Basically meaning ‘tell your father and see how he reacts’. The third part in the scene is between Lord Capulet and Juliet. At first we see that lord Capulet is confused by Juliet’s disobedience to marry Paris and he is slightly stunned because in them times ladies were seen to obey the man of the house, so Lord Capulet was not used to being disobeyed. But his confusion is soon gone an transformed in to anger and rage we know this because of the language he uses and the names he calls her such as “Out, you green-sickness carrion! Out, you baggage! You tallow-face!” now these days these insults would not be to offensive, but in them times they were just as nasty and disgusting as our modern day insults. In this part Juliet is frightened we know this because she says “Good father, I beseech you on my knees” this gives us the view that she is begging him to listen and understand her point of view. Once lady and lord caplet have left, it leaves Juliet and the nurse for the next part. This is a key part in the scene for it shows the breakdown in relationship between nurse and Juliet, and the stage play would be critical in this scene. When Juliet asks the nurse for “some comfort” the nurse goes on to say that she thinks Juliet should marry Paris. But whether or not she actually believes her own words is highly unlikely, which would be shown on stage by the nurse busying her self while saying it and not looking at Juliet. When Juliet hears this she is angry and shocked but does not let the nurse know, she simply says “amen” then “ Well, thou hast comforted me marvellous much” and then gets the nurse to leave. The final part of this scene is Juliet’s soliloquy. Here we see her angriness at the nurse where she says “Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!” she then says, “I'll to the friar, to know his remedy If all else fail, myself have power to die.” I interpret this as she will go to the friar to see what he says she should do and if all else fails she can kill her self. So the structure of this scene is vital and shows the decline of formality, trust and friendship between the individuals involved.


The main themes in this scene are; young love, parental power, ambiguity, irony and betrayal. Young love is arguably then most important theme in this play but also is the parental power, because with out young love the play wouldn’t exist and the same goes for the parental power. The young love is between Romeo and Juliet, but they are kept apart by parental power. The parental power is of lord Capulet and lady Capulet who would never let Romeo and Juliet be together in peace. In this scene the ambiguity is between Juliet and Lady Capulet when they are talking about Tybalt as I mentioned earlier where Juliet says “I never shall be satisfied with Romeo, till I behold him -dead- is my poor heart for a kinsman vex’d.” And Lady Capulet interprets this in a different way because it can have two different meanings. There is irony through out “Romeo and Juliet”. In this scene there are a few examples of irony, one is when Juliet looks down on Romeo from her balcony and says “Methinks I see thee, now thou art below, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb”. Another example from this scene is when Juliet says “ O think'st thou we shall ever meet again?” and Romeo says “I doubt it not; and all these woes shall serve for sweet discourses in our time to come.” This is ironic because we know this is the last time they will ever be alive and happy with each other again. There is little betrayal in this scene in my opinion, but it can be seen by some that the nurse betrays Juliet by telling her to marry Paris.


A Characters personality is usually quite easy to tell early on this is definitely the case in “Romeo and Juliet” In act 3 scene 5 the characters roles are pretty easy to tell. Lord Capulet is the bully who always gets his way through any way he can. Lady Capulet is almost the bully’s sidekick who is scared of him and knows what he says and does is wrong but she doesn’t have the courage or power to stop him. Juliet is the damsel in distress who is powerless against the bully and his sidekick (as known as lord and lady Capulet). And the damsel in distress is waiting for her knight in shining armour (as known as Romeo) to save her. Lord Capulet is short tempered, and in their household he is the law. Lady Capulet is cold hearted and easily pushed around by her husband. Juliet is young, yet very mature and clever, and has a mind of her own. Romeo is strong hearted, has a mind of his own and is very clever with words. The nurse is crude yet is very caring but is in a predicament because she loves Juliet as her own but cannot disobey lord Capulet or she will loose her job, she also knows If Juliet runs away with Romeo then she would loose her job so in my opinion that is also part of the reason she tells Juliet to marry Paris.


In 1599 “Romeo and Juliet “ would have only been performed on stage and that was how it was meant to be, but these days it has evolved in to a book, whether or not Shakespeare would of liked this idea is another thing! In the play this scene would only have a bed in the middle of the room, a window with a balcony, and a door leading out of the room, and that would be basically it, maybe a few miscellaneous items like cupboard etc. For the opening part of this scene it would have Romeo and Juliet lying in bed then the audience would hear a bird tweet and Romeo and Juliet would wake up and debate about the bird. Then after that you would see Romeo climb out the window and he would go of stage. Juliet would then return to her bed and start sobbing when her mother comes in and starts talking to her. When nurse and lord Capulet come in Juliet would sit up as a sign of respect to her father. Once Juliet tells Lord Capulet she will not marry Paris Lord Capulet would go to attack her and she would cower behind the nurse, and the nurse would stand tall to defend Juliet. I think as Lord Capulet goes to hit Juliet, Lady Capulet would reach or stumble forwards to wards Juliet then think better of it. When Lord Capulet shouts at Juliet he would try and get as close to her face as he possibly could. Once Lord Capulet leaves followed by Lady Capulet Juliet would grab nurse and ask for comfort but the nurse will turn away to sort Juliet’s clothes on her bed or collect up rubbish to busy her self while she tells Juliet she should marry Paris. When Juliet sends the nurse out the nurse will turn round at the door and give a slight bow/curtsy to Juliet, this shows the audience that the relationship between them as declined and they are no longer close, they are more like mistress and servant. Then when door closes Juliet would throw her self on to the bed to say her soliloquy.

Historical Context

A few of the events that happen in Act 3 Scene 5 are affected by the historical context. By this I mean for example the insults that lord Capulet gives Juliet, because in that time period they would have a lot more effect than opposed to present times. Also we have to remember that in them times the father will rule the family no questions asked wherefore now that has changed. The final issue that occurs where historical context should be remembered is that in them times ladies where not supposed to show emotion, so Juliet doing this angers the lord Capulet even more so than he already is.


In my opinion, Act 3 Scene 5 of “Romeo and Juliet” is a key scene to the play. The way in which the scene is written and structured is fantastic and has room for very little improvement. To see this acted out on a stage would be a great privilege for any one. From this scene alone we get a very good idea on what the characters in this scene are like, and how they are supposed to be portrayed.

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Comments on this review

  • Lindylou13 published 26/06/2005
    Veru interesting review. I'm not overly familiar with Romeo and Juliet and found this very enlightening. Linda
  • gingelou published 15/04/2005
    I hated doing this for my gcse's! Lou.x
  • JulyBunny published 02/04/2005
    Hye. i remember doin my romeo n juliet gcse. totally failed my english gcse's.
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