Romeo and Juliet is a love story which has a fatal ending. It is a story of two families, the Montagues and the Capulets, who are two of Verona’s noble families. The families quarrelled years ago and the feud has been carried on by the younger generations. Two youths, one from each family, fall in love and they die in the end, which ends the families’ long-winding feud. This assignment is based on Act 3 Scene 5, which is a very significant part in the play as it is the last time Romeo and Juliet see each other alive.
This scene starts with Romeo and Juliet alone together in Juliet’s bedroom the day after their wedding and they had spent the night together. Juliet is urging Romeo not to leave for his banishment, as it is not yet dawn. Romeo then tells her he’d rather die than leave her.
‘Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death’
This shows his true devotion to Juliet.
But then Juliet suddenly changes her mind and tells him to leave. Obviously this talk of death scares her. Juliet’s voice would probably sound panicked and frightened as she is having these mixed emotions because she is so anxious for him to leave, but is aching for him to stay. These emotions may also be reflected on the audience. It may even have different meanings for them as some may have experienced these sorts of feelings before, so they might have a more sympathetic view for Juliet. This would be really effective because it is keeping the audience anxious for them, but also keeping them on edge as Juliet’s panicking may give them a sense of someone walking in on them at any minute.
The setting of this part of the scene makes the atmosphere even more tense because it makes you aware that they are being sneaky and in those days it most certainly would not have been acceptable for a boy to be in another girl’s bedroom. It is the laws in their society in that period in history that causes most of the problems for Romeo and Juliet. The difference in society has a very important significance in this play, as I will explain in more detail as I go on in this assignment.
The Nurse then enters the scene which changes the whole atmosphere as the stage directions say she enters ‘hastily’. This may give you an idea of her bursting through the door out of breath and panicking. This is likely to have a very dramatic affect on the audience as she tells Romeo and Juliet that Lady Capulet is on her way. This probably makes the audience very anxious to know if Romeo is going to get caught.
This is when Romeo makes his exit from the scene and in my opinion this part of the scene really does send you on an emotional rollacoaster.
‘I must hear from thee every day in the hour,
For in the minute there are many days.’
This quotation from Juliet may make the audience feel very sympathetic as they can feel their longing for each other before he has even left.
‘I doubt it not, and all these woes shall serve
For sweet discourses in our times to come.’
This statement by Romeo may give a little relief for the audience as it probably makes them think that some happiness will come from their time apart. After a few more words Romeo then leaves the scene. Juliet is then left alone and isolated which adds drama to the scene because she now has to face the following events on her own.
Lady Capulet then enters Juliet’s bedroom and notices Juliet is upset. She thinks it is because of Tybalt’s untimely death, which shows Lady Capulet’s complete misunderstanding of her daughter. This part of the scene shows she hasn’t really been a mother to Juliet, not like the Nurse. This is where there is another difference in society to the modern day. They used to have Wet Nurses who would nurse their children from being newborn babies. So perhaps Lady Capulet never had a chance to bond with Juliet in the way that the Nurse has.
‘ Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?’
Juliet goes along with her mother because she is terrified of telling her the truth about her and Romeo. Juliet has joined the two fueding families in marriage which would probably be really frightening for her as two enemies are are jioned together by this marriage and they don’t even know about it. This sense of mystery in the play puts a lot of drama into it because it probably gives the audience a feeling of nervousness because they are waiting the part where the Montagues and the Capulets find out. It was common for families to feud as it was a quite violent society.
In this period in history obedience was very important. Youths, especially young women, were meant to be seen and not heard. They were meant to obey their parents’ decisions with no questions asked. This makes me feel sympathetic towards Juliet because it shows that there isn’t a true bond between Juliet and her mother because in modern day society a daughter would usually confide in her mother and in this play Juliet confides in the Nurse. I think it would make the audience feel the same way because Juliet and Lady Capulet didn’t have the mother/daughter relationships that we have today and that is something that has great importance in our lives.
After Juliet has gone on with the pretence of being upset about Tybalt, Lady Capulet tries to cheer her up by informing her of her father’s decision to arrange her marriage to Paris. This is a very significant part of the play because if Lady Capulet had never told her about this arrangement of marriage to Paris then Juliet might not of had to take immediate action and tragedy might never have happened. This news obviously comes as a huge shock to Juliet and she expresses her feelings in an uncontrollable outburst. She obviously couldn’t help herself.
‘He shall not make me there a joyful bride’
This part of the scene gives the audience an understanding that in their society there were arranged marriages. The parents would arrange for their children to be married into another family that was as wealthy as theirs. They didn’t marry for love and would never marry into poverty or into a family that has a lower status than them because they thought that if two wealthy families were joined by their children’s marriage then that makes them even more powerful. Some religions have arranged marriages nowadays, but it is only in certain religions, not everyone.
When being disobeyed by Juliet, Lord Capulet totally changes his character. He goes from being a loving and supportive father, as he shows earlier on in the play by not wanting her to get married until she was ready. Juliet is only 13. It was common for girls to get married and have families in that time in history and they rarely gave them a choice, so this quotation shows some compassion from Lord Capulet.
‘She is the hopeful Lady of my earth.
But woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart,
My will to consent is but a part,
And she agreed, within her scope of choice
Lies my consent and fair according voice.’
This quotation from Act 1 Scene 2 shows him being supportive of Juliet, but in this scene he goes into a nasty and evil person telling Juliet to either marry Paris or live on the streets.
‘And you be mine I’ll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang! Beg! Starve! Die in the streets!’
This shows how women had no power in that society as Juliet either has to obey her father’s decisions or she would be discarded from the family left on the streets with all of her status and royalty taken away from her just by her father’s say so. She would then probably have to go into prostitution or other means of life to support herself. This also shows how Lady Capulet has no authority over Lord Capulet, as it was a male dominated society, so Lord Capulet has complete control over Lady Capulet and Juliet.
If I were the stage director of this play, in this part of the scene Juliet would be very scared with her eyes looking down at the floor while sat on her bed with her father towering above her. There would be no sound, just Lord Capulet’s voice so you can hear it distinctly and the lighting would be dim with a spotlight on Juliet and her father’s face so the audience could get a good view of their facial expressions. Lord Capulet would look angry and frustrated while Juliet would look frightened and almost in tears.
This is when the Nurse becomes very protective over Juliet.
‘God in heaven bless her.
You are to blame, my Lord, to rate her so.’
I think that this was just an act on instinct for the Nurse because she soon realises that she shouldn’t get on the wrong side of Lord and Lady Capulet because they are the ones that pay her wages and provide her with a home. So later on in the scene she tries to persuade Juliet that the best thing is to marry Paris. This is really to save her own skin because she doesn’t want Juliet’s parents to find out that she knew about Juliet’s marriage to Romeo.
This leaves Juliet feeling alone and betrayed by the one person she thought would understand her.
‘Ancient Damnation! O most wicked fiend,
Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn,
Or to dispraise my lord with the same tongue
Which she hath praised him with above compare
So many thousand times?’
This shows that Juliet obviously is completely bewildered by the Nurse and she now doesn’t have anyone to turn to apart from the priest who married her and Romeo, Friar Lawrence. So later in the play she goes to him for help and events after this lead to her and Romeo’s death. This also tells you that it was a religious society because Juliet goes to Friar Lawrence for her confessions.
So as you can see, this scene is a very eventful part of the play and Shakespeare has staged it perfectly. His use of language is superb, such as when Lord Capulet is telling Juliet that she either has to marry Paris or leave. The words gave me an idea of Lord Capulet’s tone of voice being loud and angry when he used words like ‘hang!’, ‘Beg!’ and ‘Starve!’. He used exclamation marks, which gives me an idea of him shouting. H also stages their body language very effectively such as when gives stage directions that ‘Romeo and Juliet stand at the window’. This gives me an idea of them standing next to each other looking out of the window in a daze enjoying their time together. Even if I was just reading this play I could imagine all of the characters expressions and feelings. This is how Shakespeare makes you aware that it is not just a words on a page, but a piece of theatre also.
I personally have enjoyed reading and writing about Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. It gives me a good understanding of how society was and how it made people feel in those days compared to what it is like now in modern day society. I thought the best part of the scene was Romeo’s exit. It made me feel really sad because Romeo and Juliet really want to be together, but can’t because of their forbidden love.
Cite this essay
Romeo and Juliet / G.C.S.E . (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/romeo-juliet-g-c-s-e-new-essay