What are the reactions to Juliet's apparent death in Act 4, scene 5, in Romeo and Juliet?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The nurse is the one to find Juliet's seemingly lifeless body on the morning of the day the girl is supposed to marry the County Paris.  At first, the nurse makes bawdy jokes about Juliet's inability to get out of bed, but then she realizes that Juliet is dead (or seems to be, at least) and the nurse curses the day she was born (in her grief over the loss of Juliet). 

Lady Capulet enters next, sees Juliet's lifeless body, and proclaims that Juliet must "Revive" or else she will die alongside her daughter.  Lord Capulet comes next, chiding the nurse and his wife for not bringing Juliet out already, and when they tell him that Juliet is dead, he cries and calls her "the sweetest flower of all the field" (4.5.34).  They all wail and cry together.

Friar Lawrence arrives, and they tell him that Juliet is gone.  He, of course, knows that she would appear to be lifeless because he is the one who gave her the potion that would cause her symptoms.  Paris enters, ready to see his bride's face, but Lady Capulet and the nurse tell him the news.  Paris feels cheated out of his wife by death, and the friar tries to comfort them all. 

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Romeo and Juliet

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