Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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How does Juliet show her maturity and independence in Act IV, Scene III?

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Thomas Mccord eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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In this scene, Juliet shows her independence by telling her mother that she does not need any help with the wedding preparations and that, in fact, she would like some time to herself:

So please you, let me now be left alone.

In addition, Juliet demonstrates her maturity in the way that she thinks about her dilemma over the potion. Despite being afraid of drinking the potion, she logically thinks about the various possibilities and outcomes. She leaves a dagger beside her, for example, just in case the potion does not work and she is forced to marry Paris. She also considers the possibility that she might suffocate in the tomb before Romeo arrives.

Although she is frightened that she might go mad and that she might see ghosts, she decides to go ahead and drink the potion. This shows that nothing is more important to her than a reunion with Romeo. That her loves for him holds strong is significant because it shows that she is maturing into a woman who makes her own choices in life. 

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Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Juliet shows her maturity and independence by, for the first time, taking action without the advice of her nurse, the woman who has been more like a mother to her than her own mother, who's been constantly by her side for her entire life.  Tonight, she tells the nurse that she wants to be alone to pray, but once she finds herself alone, she begins to feel strangely cold as though she senses some misfortune to come.  Just then, she says, "I’ll call [her] back again to comfort me.— / Nurse!—What should she do here?" (4.3.17-18).  She briefly considers calling to her nurse to return and soothe her fears, but then she realizes that she is going to have to proceed with her plan alone and not rely on her nurse for help this time.

In addition, Juliet is fearful of all the things that could go wrong when she drinks this potion the Friar gave to her.  What if it kills her?  What if it doesn't work at all?  What if she wakes up early and has to lay in her family's vault with all the dead bodies?  If this happens, what will she have to do then?  Bash her own brains out with some ancestor's bone?  These are all fairly frightening prospects, but Juliet determines to proceed anyway.  Persisting in the face of her fears is a very mature thing for her to do.

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