Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What are some quotes from Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet that show turning points in the drama?

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Wallace Field eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Tybalt, in order to give vent to the offense he has felt when Romeo and his friends came to the Capulets' party the night before, comes looking for Romeo but ends up killing Mercutio when Romeo refuses to fight him. To avenge his friend's death, Romeo kills Tybalt, and this action represents a turning point in the play. Benvolio says,

Romeo, away, begone!
The citizens are up, and Tybalt is slain.
Stand not amazed. The Prince will doom thee death
If thou art taken. Hence, be gone, away. (3.1.138-141)

Now that Romeo has killed Tybalt, Benvolio knows that the repercussions will be severe. It is Tybalt's death and Romeo's punishment—ultimately, banishment from Verona—that sets into motion the events that lead to the tragedy. The Capulets' sadness about the death of Tybalt, and their belief that Juliet cries "immoderately" for him, compel them to arrange for her immediate marriage to Count Paris. They believe that a wedding will distract her from her excessive mourning. This compels her to fake her own death so that she can escape Verona, and her unwanted marriage, to be with Romeo, her secret husband. And when the Friar's letter fails to reach Romeo in Mantua, he hears of her evident death through another channel, and he reacts by going to her grave to take his own life. As a result, she takes her own.

However, before any of this can take place, Romeo must kill Tybalt.

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Ashley Kannan eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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I would suggest that the exchange between Juliet and her parents in the closing scene of Act III is a significant turning point in the drama.  When she refuses to her parents' request of marrying Paris, this is a turning point. It is the moment when Juliet has moved from submissive daughter to defiant woman.  Contrast this with the Act I Juliet, who is willing to bend to her parents' wishes, to this defiance of parental rule.  Yet, I feel that this moment is a turning point because of her parents' reactions to her.  Lady Capulet turns her back on her daughter and Lord Capulet essentially throws Juliet to the street if she should disobey her.  It is at this moment where Juliet recognizes that the bonds that existed between she and her parents are gone.  There is nothing holding her back at this point.  The conflict she felt between her family's name and her feelings of love towards Romeo is gone, for she has been relinquished of her loyalty to the former.  It is at this point where I think that a turning point in Act III can be evident.  It is here where we begin to see Juliet move towards a realm where the ending is almost inevitable precisely because of the Capulets' reaction to their daughter in this scene in Act III.

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