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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   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. ‘Yon light is not daylight, I know it’. This increases the dramatic tension, because as the audience, it is not clear if Romeo knows how much danger he is in if he does not leave Juliet’s bedroom as soon as possible. Finally, Romeo reluctantly leaves Juliet’s bedroom through the window. This is the last time Romeo and Juliet see each other.

To heighten the dramatic tension, Lady Capulet could be calling Juliet even as Romeo is leaving. ‘Ho daughter, are you up?’ The audience is gripped and unsure of whether Romeo will be caught by Lady Capulet. In a production of the play, I would have Romeo leaving at one end of the stage seconds before Lady Capulet entered at the other end. As Juliet would not be expecting her mother so soon, she might be slightly flushed and surprised looking as she talks to her mother. She might be pretending to cry slightly as there is a stage direction in Shakespeare’s words of Lady Capulet; ‘evermore weeping for your cousin’s death’. 

At this point, and from hereon with her mother, Juliet’s words become ambiguous. When she speaks of ‘a feeling of loss’, Juliet means Romeo, but her mother thinks she is talking about Tybalt, her cousin, (who Romeo killed after Tybalt killed Mercutio, Romeo’s best friend.)

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            Juliet next says to herself ‘Villain and he maybe miles asunder’, which Lady Capulet does not hear. We are unsure as to whether Lady Capulet hears Juliet say ‘God pardon him, I do with all my heart,’ or whether she just chooses to ignore this statement. Lady Capulet does hear Juliet say ‘and yet no man like him doth grieve my heart’, as it provokes a reaction, however she interprets it in a different way to how it was meant. Although Juliet hints at the fact that there may be more to her words, Lady Capulet does not pick ...

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