What is the significance of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet?What is the significance of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet?

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hilahmarca eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The significance of the balcony scene in Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet is mainly to illustrate an important tragic flaw the lovers possess, which is impulsiveness. A tragic flaw is a personality weakness that leads to the death or destruction of a character. This scene shows how young and impulsive Romeo and Juliet are and how this impulsiveness leads to their untimely deaths. The moment Romeo and Juliet meet to the time they perish all occurs within five days. That's it. In the balcony scene, they have met only moments before at Lord Capulet's party. They meet up again after the party in Juliet's garden and immediately profess their love for each other and decide to marry. They have just met and have already decided to marry the next day. This scene shows just how young and impulsive the two young lovers are.

lmetcalf eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This scene also firmly establishes the conflict of the play and also establishes the hopefulness for the future of Verona.  The over-arching conflict of Capulet vs. Montague is specifically stated here, and their conclusion is "so what?"  "What does that have to do with us?"  The audience is excited to see if this couple is going to be able to end the long-standing feud.  If the audience knows the play is a tragedy from the start, then they also know that Romeo and Juliet are going to likely end up dead and that the audience is now invested in watching how that tragic conclusion is going to resolve the bigger conflict, or not.

mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The balcony scene is pivotal to the plot as this is the scene in which Romeo and Juliet commit themselves to each other.  In addition, the poetic significance of the play is here established as the light/dark dichotomy becomes pronounced:

....Therefore pardon me,

And not impute this yielding to light love,

Which the dark night hath so discovered.

Daytime becomes dangerous for the two lovers, and night is introduced as the time of safety for their love.

wannam eNotes educator| Certified Educator
The balcony scene is where both Romeo and Juliet declare their feeling for each other. We know they have fallen in love when they first met, but this is the point where the characters become aware of each others feelings. Without this scene, the play could not progress in the same manner. This is the point where they decide what course their lives will follow. This scene leads directly to their marriage, their grief, and their deaths. It is a key in building the rest of the plot.
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The significance is that the budding attraction between Romeo and Juliet has a chance to blossom under the moonlight. The story would not exist if it were not for the balcony scene or some other very similar scene: they needed a place to meet alone and impress each other with their eloquence and passion in a culture that was very protective of contact between unmarried youths.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

I think that this scene also shows us just how passionately in love Romeo is.  In a sense, it foreshadows his doom.  In this scene, we have Romeo knowingly facing death in order to see Juliet.  He is so in love that he does not care if he risks death.  This can be seen as a foreshadowing of how he will once again face death for Juliet's sake later in the play.

elistar | Student
What is the significance of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet?

What is the significance of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet?

This part of the play also shows Juliet's uncertain and rebellious nature, she is 13 years old, trying to understand love and she doesn't know whether she should trust Romeo. She discards all formalities ("compliment") and chivalry of those days believing that love has nothing to do with formalities, rather with the heart. Romeo seems to agree with her upon everything they've talked however she still is unsure. The next part of the scene then goes on to try and understand true love. How is true love defined? Is their love "too rash, too unadvised, too sudden" ? Is their love just an adolescents crush, what are the characteristics of true love? So to find some kind of security, Juliet asks Romeo to Marry her as this will show his true intentions of whether he wants to spend the rest of his life with her. He doesn't swear by the moon, for that would be referring to Rosaline. In this scene their love seems to flourish and they seem to transcend into another meaning of love.

This scene is a stepping stone for their rest of the play, as their fates are sealed, by their determination to marry each other. They seem to agree and their joint natures will then lead them to their death. However since their last meeting their love has flourished, one way or another.

elistar | Student
What is the significance of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet?

What is the significance of the balcony scene in Romeo and Juliet?

The balcony scene shows their impulsive nature, especially that of Romeo. Here and throughout the play, he often refers to Juliet as the sun. In this passage he says "Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon" , before he was referring to Rosaline as the moon, therefore he implicitly wants to replace Rosaline with Juliet. Romeo prefers love to be returned for love and the moon seems to be to fickle and changing therefore he prefers the unending constant light of the sun. In this scene the duality of names is one of the themes explored. A name can bring power, wealth and glory, yet it can also be ones ruin. Romeo isn't Juliet's enemy yet the name Montague, which Romeo possesses is her enemy. Therefore there is a few long paragraphs on the topic "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet". So Juliet doesn't seem to care and neither does Romeo hence in the next paragraph were Juliet asks him to deny his name, he doesn't know how to answer her, because he no longer has a name as he's promised himself to her denying his own name.


tamupiwa | Student

it shows the birth of their love & it shows the rapid maturity of julietas she speaks twice as much lines as romeo. It also shows how thid couple is differant from most as they cant show their acffectin in public & this helps them to make their committments to each other

"Th'exchange of love's faithful vow for mine"