In act 3 scene 5, explain the paradoxical phrases in line 94-103.

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wannam's profile pic

wannam | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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(In order to respond with a full and concise answer, we can only answer one question at a time.) In Act 3 scene 5, Juliet informs her father that she has no desire to marry Paris. She says, "not proud you have, but thankful that you have." She is attempting to let her father know that while she does not wish to marry Paris she still appreciates the care her father took in selecting a match for her. Of course, Lord Capulet does not realize that Juliet is already in love and married to another man. He thinks she is simply an ungrateful and spoiled child. Father's typically chose their daughters husbands during this time period. Arranged marriages were customary and expected. A daughter's duty to her family was to marry who ever her father choose. She would have been expected to be grateful and happy to marry. Juliet's reaction sparks a violent response from her father. He basically tells her that she will either marry Paris or no longer be his daughter. This might not seem like such a big deal to us today, but for Juliet it would have meant becoming homeless and starving. Women did not work as they do today. She would have been dependent upon the kindness and generousity of strangers. For a young girl raised in wealth, this would have been extremely frightening.
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andrewnightingale's profile pic

andrewnightingale | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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The definition for paradoxical phrases in this context would be that they are statements that seem contradictory or logically unsound at face value but make sense on careful investigation.

In the lines just before, Juliet's mother has told her about Romeo's villainy in that he has killed her cousin Tybalt. Juliet responds, in part, by saying:

Indeed, I never shall be satisfied
With Romeo till I behold him—dead—
Is my poor heart, so for a kinsman vexed.
 
O, how my heart abhors
To hear him named and cannot come to him
To wreak the love I bore my cousin
Upon his body that hath slaughtered him.
In the first instance, Juliet is saying that she is so perturbed that she will only be satisfied if she sees Romeo dead. She suggests that her heart is dead when she thinks of her murdered cousin. In this particular instance, what Juliet says does not seem to make sense and contrasts directly with what the audience knows about her feelings for Romeo. She has vowed her everlasting love to him and has become his bride. For her to now wish him dead does not make any sense.
 
It becomes clear, however, that Juliet is only saying this to satisfy her mother, who is oblivious to the fact that her daughter is married to the young Montague. Juliet clearly does not want her mother to know her true feelings or, God forbid, that she is married to the enemy, for Lady Capulet would be outraged.
 
If Lady Capulet should know the truth, Juliet will be seen as a traitor and will surely be disowned immediately and maybe suffer even sterner sanction than she can imagine. She therefore puts on an act. This is not to say that she does not feel grief for Tybalt's death. Her love for Romeo, however, is greater than anything else.
 
In the second extract, Juliet is expressing her true feelings. She hates the idea of hearing Romeo's name being mentioned without being able to go to him and be with him. Her mother, of course, is none the wiser and takes her at her word. Juliet's suggestion about "wreaking the love . . . upon his body" refers to her desire to be physically bonded to Romeo. The two lovers have not yet consummated their marriage, and she now evidently believes that, with his banishment, it will never happen.
 
Juliet's statements also refer to her earlier conversation with Romeo. The Prince has banished him from Verona, at the risk of death, for killing Tybalt, and Romeo expresses the wish to die rather than to be without Juliet.
Let me be ta’en; let me be put to death.
I am content, so thou wilt have it so . . .
. . . Come death and welcome.
Juliet, at this juncture, shares her lover's sentiment. It becomes apparent later that she would rather be dead than continue to live without him, as she then tells Friar Laurence:
I long to die
If what thou speak’st speak not of remedy.