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In Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Scene 5, Juliet's opening speech again highlights the theme...

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john17 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 15, 2009 at 3:27 PM via web

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In Romeo and Juliet Act 2 Scene 5, Juliet's opening speech again highlights the theme of youth versus old age. In what way? Give at least one reason.

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sagesource | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted June 15, 2009 at 5:00 PM (Answer #1)

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In her opening soliloquy in Romeo and Juliet Act V Scene 2, Juliet, having sent her nurse with a message to Romeo, is burning up with impatience waiting for her return. She first considers that the nurse may be unable to find him, but dismisses this for an explanation based on her age and infirmity, and her consequent lack of sympathy with the urgency of young love. Despite her nurse's lameness, Juliet declares,

Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
She would be as swift in motion as a ball;

Instead, as an old person, the nurse lacks the energy of life and sympathy for love:

But old folks, many feign as they were dead—
Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.

Love and youth are thus uniquely suited to each other in the quickness that passion inspires and demands, someting that old people can neither understand nor emulate.

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