On my English test, I'm supposed to write a 2,000 word essay on the question:  "How is Juliet represented in Act 3, Scene 5" of Romeo and Juliet?Can somebody please give me some quotes I can use...

On my English test, I'm supposed to write a 2,000 word essay on the question:  "How is Juliet represented in Act 3, Scene 5" of Romeo and Juliet?

Can somebody please give me some quotes I can use which I can then use to elaborate on how she is represented (around 7 quotes)?   I'm allowed to take a planning sheet to the test, which I can write notes on.  So, what quotes shall I use from Act 3, Scene 5 which show how she is represented?  THANKS!




Expert Answers
shakespeareguru eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Juliet goes through quite a few changes in Act III, scene v, so whichever quotes you ultimately decide to choose, I would pick something from each of the  four "mini scenes" contained in this one, long scene.  Each display Juliet's representation a bit differently.

In her exchange at the top of the scene with Romeo, she is attempting to ignore that day has come, since this means that he must leave.  "It is not yet near day," and "Yond light is not daylight, I know it, I," are both comments that she makes in her attempt to hold off Romeo's banishment so that they might stay together a bit longer.  She, of course, finally admits that he must go, that it is day.  Also in this "mini scene," she has a foreshadowing of what's to come in the play which is significant.  She says:

O God, I have an ill-divining soul!

Methinks I see thee...

As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.

This, of course, is exactly what she does see in Act V, when she wakes to find Romeo has poisoned himself at her side.

In her exchange with Lady Capulet, there is a bit of darkly comic mistaken conversation, as she is bawling her eyes out over Romeo's departure, while her mother thinks she is weeping for Paris and desires, just as she, Lady Capulet does, the death of the culprit, Romeo.  She says:

Indeed, I never shall be satisfied

With Romeo, till I behold him -- dead --

Is my poor heart so for a kinsman vex'd.

...O how my heat abhors

To hear him nam'd, and cannot come to him

To wreak the love I bore my cousin

Upon his body...

So, she's creating a bit of dramatic irony here.  The audience knows that every word bespeaks her love for Romeo, yet Lady Capulet thinks that these words describe her desire for revenge.  Juliet is also represented as pretty free and easy with her opinion in front of her mother.  To Lady Capulet's offer of Paris as a potential husband, Juliet says:

I pray you tell my lord and father, madam,

I will not marry yet.

But when her father comes in, she changes her tune, hardly putting a word in edgewise against his diatribe.  Her only complete line in the exchagne is a cryptic one:

Not proud you have, but thankful that you have.

Proud can I never be of what I hate,

But thankful even for hate that is meant love.

And with these words, she attempts to politely rebuff her father's offering of Paris.  He explodes and banishes her from his home to die in the streets if she will not marry Paris.

This sets up the final "mini scene" with the Nurse.  Juliet is reduced to the scared fourteen year-old that she is, pleading for the Nurse's help:

O God, O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?...

What sayst thou?  Hast thou not a word of joy?

Some comfort Nurse.

Yet, the only comfort the Nurse has is to recommend that she forget Romeo and marry Paris.  And this is the moment that Juliet really becomes alone in her secret love.  She lies to the Nurse, pretending that she agrees and will marry Paris:

Go in, and tell my lady I am gone,

Having displeas'd my father, to Laurence's cell,

To make confession and to be absolv'd.

From this scene forward, Juliet must walk her path alone, for she also never sees Romeo alive again.  She gets some help from the Friar, but must pursue her course of action with no one to help her.



mike-krupp eNotes educator| Certified Educator

To add to shakespearegur's thoughtful answer:

I wouldn't want to isolate Act III, scene V from what's led up to it, especially Act II scene II, where Romeo and Juliet discover their love for each other, and the heavenly intensity of that love.  If you have time you might read this scene and look for the emotion between the two lovers: how it begins and how it evolves.  Juliet brings the memory of this scene with her into the later scene.

At the beginning of III,v the lovers are newly married and hsve just spent their first -- and last -- night together.  Romeo has killed Tybault and been banished from Verona, which they both equate with permanent separation and the death of their love.  Juliet says

Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.

This is a continuation of the ardent romance we saw in II,ii.

But from here the mood turns much darker: the two are descending from Heaven towards Hell.  Romeo says

More light and light [in the coming day]; more dark and dark our woes!

And Juliet:

Then, window, let day in, and let life out.

Romeo intends to leave through the window, figuratively taking Juliet's life with him.  Imagine how Juliet's mood is sinking so quickly, from passionate love just a few minutes before to loss and mourning at this moment.

After this, Juliet goes through agonizing moments as described by shakespearegur.  There is a devastating encounter with her inflexibly dictatorial father, which must be horrible for Juliet, as a properly loving and obedient daughter. After his diatribe Juliet says, in desperation,

Good father, I beseech you on my knees,
Hear me with patience but to speak a word.

At the beginning of her speech

O God, O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?...

Juliet has been rejected by both her father -- rather brutally -- and her mother.

At the end of the scene Juliet is on her own, abandoned by her family.  But -- notice that she does not collapse from grief and terror (after all, she's just 14).  She no longer sounds like a 14-year-old; from now on she lives by her own strength and determines her own course: she is now an adult, and talks like one.

Her final words in the scene are

I'll to the friar, to know his remedy:
If all else fail, myself have power to die.


chanalee | Student

thas crazyy becausee wen paris knoe tat juliets is dead he dont do nothinqq like how thiss storyy workk i cant qet itt ,

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Romeo and Juliet

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