In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, how does act 3, scene 4 set up the turning point of the play?  

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tinicraw eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Act III, scene iv of Romeo and Juliet can be argued to be the turning point of the play because this is when Juliet's father decides to rush her into a marriage with Paris within a couple of days. Juliet was safer when her father told Paris, "Let two more summers wither in their pride,/ Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride"(I.ii.10-11). But after Romeo kills Tybalt in the previous scene, Lord Capulet believes that a marriage would cheer his daughter up from mourning her cousin. Little does Lord Capulet know that Juliet is already married and this marriage to Paris will put more pressure on her than she's already experiencing with Tybalt's death and Romeo's subsequent banishment. Had Lord Capulet not forced a quick marriage on his daughter, she would have had more time to wait for Father Lawrence to work his magic in Romeo's name to bring him back. Sadly, with the pressure of a second marriage on top of a first, Juliet panics and threatens to kill herself unless Friar Lawrence figures something out quickly. Hence, act III, scene iv could very well be considered the turning point in the play.

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Romeo and Juliet

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