Paraphrase Juliet's last speech in Act III, scene v of "Romeo and Juliet".

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Juliet has resolved never to trust the Nurse again. The Nurse, as is her wont, has been disarmingly frank, describing the banished Romeo as a dishcloth in comparison to the dashing Paris. But that's not what Juliet wants to hear. She's set her heart on spending the rest of her life with Romeo, and nothing's going to get in her way. So in her little soliloquy at the end of act III, scene v, she denounces the Nurse and determines to consult Friar Lawrence instead, to see if he can recommend a solution to her current predicament. Fatefully, Juliet expresses her willingness to commit suicide if all else fails:

If all else fail, myself have power to die.

There is a lot of foreshadowing here. Juliet's resolution to seek advice from Friar Lawrence, combined with her acceptance of suicide as a solution to her problems, hints at the tragedy to come.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

At the end of Act III, Romeo has been banished because of the murder of Tybalt and Juliet's father has ordered her to marry Paris.  Juliet tries to argue with her father but fails. 

Once Capulet leaves Juliet to herself, the Nurse approaches her to urge her to forget Romeo and accept Paris as her new husband.  Juliet doesn't argue with the Nurse, understanding that the household is against her.  She tells the Nurse that she (Juliet) will go to the Friar to ask forgiveness for upsetting Capulet.

In the last speech of this scene, the Nurse has just left Juliet to plan Juliet's trip to the Friar.  Juliet, speaking to herself, says the following:

Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!
Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,
Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue
Which she hath prais'd him with above compare
So many thousand times?--Go, counsellor;
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.--
I'll to the friar to know his remedy;
If all else fail, myself have power to die.

What this means is this:

Juliet curses the Nurse for insulting Romeo, calling the Nurse a wicked and evil woman.  She announces that her relationship to the Nurse is over.  She further announces that she will go to the Friar to seek help.  She finishes by saying that, if no help is available, she wil kill herself.

Approved by eNotes Editorial Team
Soaring plane image

We’ll help your grades soar

Start your 48-hour free trial and unlock all the summaries, Q&A, and analyses you need to get better grades now.

  • 30,000+ book summaries
  • 20% study tools discount
  • Ad-free content
  • PDF downloads
  • 300,000+ answers
  • 5-star customer support
Start your 48-Hour Free Trial