Homework Help

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, what is revealed about Juliet, the conflict, and the...

user profile pic

morgansmith72 | Student, Grade 11 | eNoter

Posted March 6, 2012 at 9:15 AM via web

dislike 1 like

In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, what is revealed about Juliet, the conflict, and the plot in the lines (III.ii.75-79)?

The lines are "Beautiful Triant! fiend angelical! /Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-raveing lamb! /Despised substances of divinest show! /A damned saint, an honorable villain!" I just couldn't fit them in the question.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted March 6, 2012 at 11:13 AM (Answer #1)

dislike 2 like

In Act 3, Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, we find Juliet in the Capulet's orchard. Juliet has been looking forward to the arrival of Romeo that night and the Nurse arrives with news of a death. The Nurse initially speaks ambiguously, so at first Juliet thinks that Romeo is dead. Then, the Nurse makes lamentation about Tybalt, so Juliet thinks that both Romeo and Tybalt are dead. Finally, the Nurse clarifies that Tybalt is dead and Romeo is banished because he was the one who killed Tybalt. This news brings us to the lines in question:

O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st,
A damned saint, an honourable villain!

From my perspective, these lines hint at Juliet's propensity to make immediate judgments about a situation and about about a person without knowing all the facts. Of course, Romeo is not much better, which is why they both end up dead at the end of the play.

Still, if we read just a few lines further, we find that Juliet takes back the unkind comments that she has just uttered about Romeo. These rapid swings of attitude about Romeo mirror the swift changes that occur throughout the play. One moment Romeo is in love with Rosaline; the next moment he is in love with and marrying Juliet. The next thing we know Romeo has killed Tybalt and is being exiled.

Likewise, both the Capulets and Romeo will assume that Juliet is dead, when she is, in reality, only near death. The sort of violent oppositions we heard in Juliet's speech, mentioned above, can also be found in, for example, Lord Capulet's remark about the transition from wedding music to funeral music. With Juliet dead, the bells now become "melancholy."

Thus, Juliet's remarks about the violent opposition within Romeo are mirrored in the conflicts and plot of the play. Romeo and Juliet are a young couple that careen wildly between various extremes of emotion. Their families have been in conflict for years and the young couple's own inability to communicate effectively highlights an age-old challenge for all married couples. "Good" communication is foundation of any "good" marriage. Other things about a relationship can "break" and the relationship can remain intact, but if communication becomes "broken," then the relationship will have tremendous difficulty surviving.

Sources:

Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes