What is the main internal conflict in the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet?

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dneshan's profile pic

dneshan | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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The main internal conflict present in the balcony scene is that Juliet struggles with the fact that she is a Capulet and the boy that she loves (Romeo) is a Montague.  From the first time that Juliet appears on her balcony, this conflict is evident.  Juliet says,

     "O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
      Deny thy father and refuse thy name!
      Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
      And I'll no longer be a Capulet."  (A. 2, s. 2, l. 35-39)

Here, Juliet is asking why Romeo has to be a Montague and that if the conditions require it, she will renounce her name in order to be with Romeo.  This theme is prevalent throughout the act in many of the lines that Juliet delivers. 

mercut1469's profile pic

mercut1469 | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted on

While I definitely agree with the above answer, I would add that Juliet also exhibits an internal conflict over the speed of the relationship with Romeo. She fears that she may have been too forward and that maybe Romeo will think less of her for giving her love so readily. After all, she kisses him within the first few minutes of their meeting. She debates that he would like her better if she had been shier. She tells him,

Or, if thou thinkest I am too quickly won,
I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,
So thou wilt woo, but else not for the world.
In truth, fair Montague, I am too fond,
And therefore thou mayst think my havior light.
Romeo, of course, assures her of his love. Nevertheless, she is wary of the haste with which things are proceeding. She urges Romeo to go home and consider the consequences before jumping into anything. She does her best to slow Romeo's advances. She says,
Although I joy in thee,
I have no joy of this contract tonight.
It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden,
Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be
Ere one can say “It lightens.” Sweet, good night.
This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,
May prove a beauteous flower when next we meet.
Romeo will not hear of it, however, and he asks her to marry him in the next lines. She ultimately gives in to his charm and agrees to wed him as soon as possible. Her conflicts disappear as she becomes a faithful wife who would go to any lengths to stay with Romeo.

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