Homework Help

Look at the insults Juliet throws at Romeo in A3S2. Write to either Romeo or Juliet,...

user profile pic

sherryseah | Student, Grade 9 | Salutatorian

Posted June 14, 2013 at 6:41 PM via iOS

dislike 1 like

Look at the insults Juliet throws at Romeo in A3S2. Write to either Romeo or Juliet, offering him/her advice about what they should have done.

Tagged with romeo and juliet

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

handbooktoliterature | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Adjunct Educator

Posted June 14, 2013 at 8:51 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

Act 3 Scene 2 of the play focuses on Juliet's response to the news of violence from Act 3 Scene 1. In Scene 1, Romeo witnesses Tybalt's murder of Mercutio, and in return Romeo avenges the death with the Murder of Tybalt. During Scene 1, Romeo hurls some of his own insults towards Juliet, claiming their love has made him effeminate and without courage. 

In Scene 2, Juliet is impatiently waiting to see her new husband Romeo that night, but instead the Nurse appears claiming, "He's dead, He's Dead!" Considering her focus on Romeo, Juliet assumes the Nurse is speaking of Romeo's death. Juliet then has to fight her mixed emotions as she feels relief that Romeo is alive, grief and anger that her cousin Tybalt is dead, and then regret for her negative feelings towards Romeo. It is quite a bit to take in for such a short scene. 

When Juliet first learns Romeo is responsible for Tybalt's death, she uses the following paradoxes to describe her mixed emotions. I have added comments to help, but she continuously repeats the idea of beauty hiding an evil in Romeo:

O serpent heart hid with a flowering face! (a snake that appears as a flower)
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave (an evil hidden in beauty)?
Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical! (Paradoxes showing two sides)
Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despisèd substance of divinest show,
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st.
A damnèd saint, an honorable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In moral paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? Oh, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!

In your letter, I would focus on giving Romeo or Juliet advice on staying level. They show great emotional immaturity, and they allow themselves to act and react based on emotion without thinking things through. Perhaps writing to Juliet and asking her if she feels she really knows Romeo or is she simply blinded by his beauty and attracted to him. Or you could write to Romeo and ask if this new found love is worth the price of his best friend and murder.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes