Like Romeo, Juliet is almost beside herself with the desire to be married. In Act 2, scene 5, Shakespeare uses this to build suspense and to offer an undertow of wry commentary about the passionate impatience of young people. In a scene that several times reveals her impatience, Juliet...
Like Romeo, Juliet is almost beside herself with the desire to be married. In Act 2, scene 5, Shakespeare uses this to build suspense and to offer an undertow of wry commentary about the passionate impatience of young people. In a scene that several times reveals her impatience, Juliet has to wait three hours for her Nurse, and as a result she almost jumps out of her skin, attacking "old folks" for being too slow. Juliet states:
Now is the sun upon the highmost hill
Of this day’s journey, and from nine till twelve
Is three long hours, yet she is not come.
Had she affections and warm youthful blood,
She would be as swift in motion as a ball.
My words would bandy her to my sweet love,
And his to me.
But old folks, many feign as they were dead,
Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead.
As the Nurse arrives, Juliet jumps all over in her anxiety for news, while the Nurse tries to put her off, saying she is tired and out of breath. Juliet again responds impatiently, saying it takes the Nurse longer to say she is out of breath than it would to state her news:
How art thou out of breath when thou hast breath
To say to me that thou art out of breath?
The excuse that thou dost make in this delay
Is longer than the tale thou dost excuse.
The comedy rises as the Nurse keeps delaying her news, complaining instead of her headache and her aching back, accuses Juliet of impatience, and finally reveals that Romeo is waiting to marry her at Friar Laurence
In Act 3, scene 2, Juliet again reveals her panting impatience as she awaits Romeo's arrival to her marriage bed, wishing the sun itself would set faster and picturing it as a chariot drawn by horses across the sky that she wishes would gallop to bring night—and Romeo—more quickly:
Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,
Toward Phoebus' lodging. Such a wagoner
As Phaeton would whip you to the west
And bring in cloudy night immediately. . . .
Come, night. Come, Romeo.