Describe the clashing emotions Juliet feels when the Nurse reports Tybalt’s death and Romeo’s banishment.

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dneshan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is an important point in the life of Juliet and in discussing her character overall.  Up to this point, she seems to know exactly what she wants – Romeo – and will stop at nothing, not even her parents’ hatred toward his family, until she is no less than his wife.  Therefore, it would seem that she cares more about herself and Romeo than her own family; but when she is finally faced with the two – Romeo and a member of her family – and is forced to take sides, she finds it difficult choose an allegiance.

Juliet struggles with whether or not she should be sadder that Romeo has been banished and that she will never see him again or over the fact that her husband has just killed her cousin.  This internal conflict is immediately seen when Juliet runs off a list of oxymorons which emphasize her contradictory feeling.  And then is asked by the Nurse,  

“Will you speak well of him that kill’d your cousin?” (A. 3, s. 2, line 96)

To this Juliet replies,

“Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?” (A. 3, s. 2, line 97)