In act 4 how would you summarize the way circumstances have worked so far for Juliet?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Tragically conflicted.  With Juliet already married to Romeo Scene I of Act IV finds Paris pressuring Friar Lawrence to set a date for Juliet and himself to be married.  Of course, Friar Lawrence is in a quandary since he knows Juliet is already married, but he cannot inform Paris of this.  More conflict of intentions occurs in Scene II as Lord Capulet insists that Juliet marry Paris, but she acts compliant:  "Henceforward I am ever ruled by you."  Then, she plays the middle ground of ambiguity,

I met the youthful lord at Laurence's cell;/And gave him what becomed love I might,/Not stepping o'er the bounds of modesty [I did not say I love him, but I did not say that I did not, either] (IV,ii,23-25)

In Scene III, Juliet drinks the potion, which, of course, causes a grave problem when the Capulets discover her and in Scene V, wedding plans conflict with funeral plans.  Juliet goes to church, not to be married, but to be buried.  Lord Capulet speaks in contrasts:

All things that we ordained festival/Turn from their office to black funeral;/Our instruments to melancholy bells,/Our wedding cheer to a sad burieal feast,/Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,/Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,/And all things change them to the contrary (IV,v,74)

MaudlinStreet eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I guess in terms of her coming closer to being with Romeo, things are working out, but I imagine she wished circumstances were much, much different. She's refused an arranged marriage and been disowned, suffered her cousin's death and her lover's banishment, and has now faked her own death to escape her family. I don't think that's the way most of us would want our lives to turn out. While she is able to finally show her independence and forgo the role of obedient daughter, we need to remember that she is only 13, and is giving up everything she's known for one young man, not much older than herself. It's a very dangerous situation in which she's put herself, and of course the consequences are the greatest of all.

chirstopher | Student

in act 4 particularly things r workin in favour of juliet, as v c that how friar agrees to make her runaway n marry romeo, although he knew that if, ever any one comes to know about this he will not be spared, the potion he gave to juliet, it did work. but as one of the aspect of romeo n juliet is TRAGEDY OF FATE so v c tht the letter didnt reach to romeo, n he thought tht juliet is killed n so he killed himself,'

if the letter would have reached he would have taken juliet n ranawy n would have got married.

so u c that thing positively were on the side of juliet the tragedy took place later.

hope thts the answer of ur question

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