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Act 3 scene 5 is a key scene of the play and shows Juliet's dilemma as her parents try to force her to marry Paris. Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Act 3 scene 5 is a key scene of the play and shows Juliet's dilemma as her parents try to force her to marry Paris, a respectable young man of Verona, when she is already secretly married to Romeo Montague. The scene is set on a Tuesday, and Romeo and Juliet only met on the previous Sunday. They first saw each other at Juliet's father's ball, and fell in love instantly; '[Juliet] shines like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear'. However, as Romeo and Juliet are of conflicting families, they marry in haste to overcome their impracticality of seeing each other. When they marry, Juliet is unaware of her parent's proposition for her to wed Paris, and this scene depicts the problems she faces. As the scene opens, Romeo and Juliet are waking after their first night together. For the audience, there is a sense of tension because we do not know how long it will be before Juliet's mother; Lady Capulet comes in to wake Juliet. Romeo and Juliet mock argue with each other about the time of day. ...read more.

Middle

Capulet makes a point of mentioning Juliet's tears (a stage direction from Shakespeare.) Capulet may think Juliet's tears are of sorrow and grief for Tybalt. 'What, still in tears?' He is quite tender in what he says; 'in one little body thou counterfeits a bark. Capulet then asks his wife 'have you delivered to her our decree?' In Lady Capulet's reply, she presents even more dramatic irony. 'I would the fool were married to her grave.' This shows how important Juliet's refusal is and how her parents are so quick to abandon her. Juliet would be crying at this point because she would be frightened of how her father would react. At first, Capulet seems calm and is trying to understand what he is hearing. He tries to make Juliet feel guilty by questioning if he has understood properly. 'Doth she not give us thanks? Is she not proud?' In the 16th century, when the play was written, fathers had much more power and control over their daughters. Young girls were expected to obey their fathers and in a way their fathers owned them. ...read more.

Conclusion

She then pretends to the nurse that she agrees to her marriage with Paris. 'Thou hast comforted me marvellous much..... Tell my lady I am gone.... To confession and to be absolved.' The nurse then leaves, and this is the last time we see her. After the nurse exits, Juliet has a soliloquy. Shakespeare uses this opportunity to let the audience know what is going through her mind. Juliet feels betrayed by the nurse and thinks she is a hypocritical coward. 'O most wicked fiend.' She does not know whether speaking ill of Romeo when she has praised him before is more of a sin than telling her to break her marriage vows. Juliet only has one other person she can go to for help; 'I'll to the friar to know his remedy; if all else fail myself have power to die. Juliet is so desperate she even contemplates suicide. This is relevant later on in the play. In conclusion, I think that act 3 scene 5 is one of the most eventful scenes in Shakespeare's play, even though it only includes four characters. It is important to understand the scene, as it has meaning throughout the rest of the play. The scene wreaks dramatic irony and ambiguity which is why an audience watching the play would be engrossed. ...read more.

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