In act 4, scene 5, the Nurse enters Juliet 's bedroom to find her still in bed. At first, she believes Juliet is simply still asleep, calling her a "slug-a-bed" and joking with her. However, the Nurse becomes increasingly anxious, marveling at how "sound" Juliet's sleep is and becoming desperate...
In act 4, scene 5, the Nurse enters Juliet's bedroom to find her still in bed. At first, she believes Juliet is simply still asleep, calling her a "slug-a-bed" and joking with her. However, the Nurse becomes increasingly anxious, marveling at how "sound" Juliet's sleep is and becoming desperate to wake her. When she realizes that Juliet is in her clothes, she recognizes what (she thinks) has happened and calls for Lord and Lady Capulet to tell them that Juliet is dead.
Lady Capulet's instant reaction is one of despair, noting that Juliet is her child and her "only life" and begging Juliet to come back to life, or else Lady Capulet herself would rather die.
Lord Capulet's response is more restrained; he believes at once that she is dead, and then explains that his tongue is tied by death and he is finding it difficult to speak.
Paris's response is interesting: he laments that he is "divorced" by the death of Juliet and it has left him "slain." He appeals to his love, which seems to encourage Capulet to express his own woe. Capulet declares that his joys are "buried" with Juliet.
Friar Laurence, however, declares that the gathered company is expressing too much woe in an unhelpful way. He says that it is better for Juliet to be taken to heaven, and that the "confusion" being spread by the others is not helpful either to Juliet or to those who have survived her. He begs them to calm themselves.
The Nurse reacts with horror and grief to Juliet's apparent death, as do Lord and Lady Capulet. Both emphasize that they have lost their one and only child, making their grief especially acute. Lady Capulet calls it
Accursed, unhappy, wretched, hateful day!
And states Juliet is her
one, poor one, one poor and loving child
repeating "one" three times.
Lord Capulet is also heartbroken and shows his anguish and love in an outburst:
O child, O child! My soul, and not my child!Dead art thou! Alack, my child is dead,And with my child my joys are buried.
Have I thought long to see this morning’s face,And doth it give me such a sight as this?
In this scene of Romeo and Juliet, the first person to react to Juliet's apparent death is the Nurse. On discovering Juliet's lifeless body, she repeatedly cries out for "help" while also cursing the day she was born:
Oh, welladay, that ever I was born!
As she continues to cry out, she calls for brandy ("aqua vitae") and calls this day a sad one ("lamentable").
For Lady Capulet, the death of her daughter is a moment of crisis. She claims that if Juliet does not wake up, for instance, she will die with her. This is because her love for Juliet is her only reason for living:
My child, my only life!
Next, Juliet's father enters the room and uses a metaphor to describe his loss. Specifically, he compares Juliet to a flower, killed by an "untimely frost." He uses a similar metaphor later in the scene when he compares Juliet to a flower that has been destroyed by death. Note the sexual connotations of the word "deflowered." Capulet is comparing death to the act of losing one's virginity, as a means of emphasizing Juliet's youth and purity.
For Count Paris, Juliet's death prompts anger and frustration. He personifies death, for example, and claims that it has tricked ("beguiled") Juliet, leaving him without his only love.
Finally, Friar Lawrence encourages the Capulet family to come to terms with Juliet's death. He reminds them that it was through God's (and Heaven's) help that she was born and it is to God that she has now returned. For him, then, Juliet's death is part of the natural cycle of life.
The first reactions we see are Nurse's and her parents' reactions. All three are very shocked to find that Juliet died so unexpectedly and so young. Lord Capulet refers to the untimeliness of her death when he states, "Death lies on her like an untimely frost." This metaphor alludes to the fact that when the frost season arrives too soon, the crops die. He further states that the frost has fallen "upon the sweetest flower of the field," referring to Juliet's youth and beauty.
Friar Laurence's response is a little more harsh. He openly blames Juliet's parents for her death, saying that they were too ambitious to try and marry her so soon. We see him speak of ambition in the line, "For 'twas your heaven she should be advanced and weep ye now, seeing she is advanced." The term advanced refers to their ambitions in seeing her married so soon to a wealthy man, but then Friar Laurence makes an analogy between their ambition and the fact that she is now ascended into heaven. Since he blames them for her death, he also accuses them of loving their "child so ill," meaning so poorly. Finally, he counsels that she would not have been happily married at such a young age by saying, "She's not well married that lives married long."