In Romeo and Juliet, in Act 3, Scene 5, what does Juliet say when her mother threatens to send someone to Mantua to poison Romeo?After Juliet's mother tells the news about Paris, how does Juliet...

In Romeo and Juliet, in Act 3, Scene 5, what does Juliet say when her mother threatens to send someone to Mantua to poison Romeo?

After Juliet's mother tells the news about Paris, how does Juliet respond?(act 3, scene 5)

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coachingcorner's profile pic

coachingcorner | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Senior Educator

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In Act Three Scene Five of the play 'Romeo and Juliet' by William Shakespeare, Juliet has to do some pretty quick thinking on her feet. In front of audiences, this would have been a nail-biting scene, full of fear, suspense and even terror for Romeo's life. Imagine, given the strength of the feelings expressed in her speech over her grief for her young kinsman Tybalt, Juliet's mother had known that she was standing in the room where only minutes earlier, his murderer had stood - or even lain. Imagine if Juliet had said 'that's my darling husband you're talking about.' Of course, she could not let anything slip so she thinks fast. The easiest and quickest thing to do is to say nothing while her mother speaks, then act like she agrees. Juliet does a great job - helped by the eyes that are genuinely red with weeping (but unbeknownst to her mom, for Romeo not Tybalt.)

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In this scene, Juliet acts like she is all for killing Romeo.  Her mother says that she will arrange for someone to poison Romeo and Juliet tells her that she, herself, wants to have a part in it.  She says that she wants to be the one to mix the poison into the drink that will kill Romeo.

But if you look at what she actually says, there's a double meaning to it all.  She says she wants to see him, then she pauses and says "dead."  But the "dead" can also refer to how she's feeling.  She says she wants to take the love she feels for her cousin and take it out on Romeo's body.  Her mother thinks she means that she wants revenge, but she really is saying how much she loves Romeo.

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