Other than drinking the potion, give three examples of Juliet as a risk taker in "Romeo and Juliet"?

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andrewnightingale eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Juliet presents some risky behavior when she flirts with Romeo in Act 1, Scene 5. She does not know who he is but still indulges her fancy by conversing with him. She knows, at this time, that her parents want her to consider Paris as a suitor. By encouraging Romeo she is, in fact, not being entirely loyal to their wishes. Furthermore, the mere fact that she is being so indulgent with a stranger is a risky act on its own. Even when she later discovers his true identity, she continues the association and encourages it by talking to Romeo in the garden at the risk of discovery.

A second example of her being a risk taker is when Juliet decides to marry Romeo in secret. She agrees to wed him in Act 2, Scene 2:

...send me word to-morrow,
By one that I'll procure to come to thee,
Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite;
And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay
And follow thee my lord throughout the world.

She obviously realizes that she might be disowned by her family for her betrayal, but she takes the chance anyway and later meets Romeo at the friar's cell and marries him.

A third example of Juliet's risky behavior is found in Act 3, Scene 5, when she defies her father's instructions to marry the county Paris. She ironically tells her mother that she would rather marry Romeo than consider becoming Paris's bride.

...I will not marry yet; and, when I do, I swear,
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,
Rather than Paris.

This statement is, in itself, risky, since the Capulets hate Romeo with a passion because he killed Tybalt, Juliet's cousin. When Lord Capulet later hears of his daughter's refusal, he explodes in anger and essentially threatens to banish her from his house and disown her if she does not obey his command.

Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in
the streets,
For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to't, bethink you; I'll not be forsworn.

Juliet's impetuous behavior and risky acts are some of the factors that complicate her and Romeo's relationship and set them on the tragic road towards their unfortunate destiny.

sullymonster eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first example happens in Act 2.  Juliet talks to Romeo in the garden, even though she knows that he is the enemy and she knows that her nurse is just inside.  The Nurse could have come out and seen everything in a moment.  Not only does Juliet talk to Romeo, but she agrees to meet him the next day.

Juliet sends her Nurse the next day to arrange the meeting with Romeo.  Although the Nurse obviously proves to be a faithful servant, it was dangerous to bring another person in on her plan.  The  Nurse could have told the Capulets, causing many sorts of punishment on Juliet.

Juliet marries Romeo without telling her family.  Risky!

Then, Juliet invites Romeo into her bedroom - into  her parents' house.  At any moment, they could have been caught, but Juliet risks this for a night with her secret husband.  I think we can conclude that her behavior was risky all-around!

reidalot eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Juliet is one of Shakespeare's stronger female characters. First of all, she defies her family by having a relationship with Romeo-the two Houses are at war, and he should be her enemy. Even worse, she falls in love with Romeo and risks all by marrying him in secret. Then she vows to run away with him, deserting her family, choosing her lover over her mother and father, a true teenage dilemma. Unfortunately, she dies prior to the lovers' planned escape.

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Romeo and Juliet

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