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    In Act 3, scene 5, Juliet finds herself in a terrible predicament Essay

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    Her father insists that she marry Paris but she is already secretly married to Romeo. Examine the methods that Shakespeare uses to create tension in this part of the play.

    Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is a tragic love story. The story concerns the love between two young people, Romeo and Juliet. This is set against a feud between their two families: the Montague’s and the Capulet’s. This feud develops the themes of conflict, deception and dignity in the play. The play includes a lot of themes, love, family, hate, deception and revenge.

    Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare between 1594 and 1596.

    This period was ‘The Elizabethan Era’ which was also known as ‘The Renaissance’. A time of significant change in the fields of religion, politics, science, language and the arts. Both the story of Romeo and Juliet and Shakespeare’s life take place during the Renaissance, a period that begins in the fourteenth century and extends into the seventeenth century. Woman in that era were not allowed to make their own decisions, as is Juliet’s predicament with her love life, as her father wants to make the decisions for her.

    Romeo and Juliet are waking up together after there first night of being man and wife. A loving interaction is shown between Romeo and Juliet at the beginning of the scene. Juliet is trying to persuade Romeo not to leave saying that it is still night by referring to the background scenery. “It was the nightingale and not the lark that pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear.” Romeo contradicts Juliet saying that it is the ”lark – he bird of morning: It was the lark, the herald of the morn.” However Romeo introduces an element of tension, which alerts the audience to the precariousness of their situation, this builds up tension as the audience know that if the couple are caught together, ‘nightingale’ is a metaphor for night, Romeo will be killed, it shows Romeo’s urgency to leave but Juliet’s will for him to stay, because she know’s this may be the last time they will be with each other and the precious time they have left must be spent together.

    This is shown when Romeo says “I must be gone and live, or stay and die”. The tone of their voices is slightly worried and they are a bit frightened of the consequences they will suffer if they are caught. All this dialogue is going on while they are aloft at the window. This shows that Romeo and Juliet are deep in thought, because they are both looking out of the window, wondering carefully about their plan. Romeo and Juliet’s positioning is Shakespeare’s use of dramatic devices, to create tension. ”Let me be tane, let me be put to death”, Romeo says this. Future disturbance is hinted, it tells us that all is not well despite their declaration of love for each other, and there is a tense atmosphere.

    Shakespeare increases the tension when the nurse comes in to the room ”hastily”, this may be because she supports Juliet’s love affair with Romeo and believes she is more of a mother to Juliet than Lady Capulet. At this point I think the nurse is using hand gestures to make Romeo leave, which is a use of dramatic devices, you can feel a sense of urgency ”Your lady mother is coming to your chamber. The day is broke, be wary, look about.” This is a warning from the nurse that Lady Capulet is coming. Romeo is aware of the circumstances so he says hurriedly to Juliet ”Farewell, farewell! One kiss and I’ll descend.” The stage directions at this point say ‘[He goeth down.] Romeo climbs out the window and leaves. The tension builds up from the beginning of the act steadily, gradually increases to a point that if Romeo is caught he will be murdered because of what he did to Juliet’s cousin. The tension then decreases when Romeo leaves. I think William Shakespeare does this to keep the audience entertained and get them involved with the play.

    The main characters Act 3, scene 5 are Romeo, Juliet, Nurse, Lady Capulet and Capulet. Lady Capulet and Lord Capulet’s attitude remain the same of Juliet; however the Nurse is on Juliet’s side because she wants Juliet to be happy. At the beginning of the play Juliet does what she is told by her father and mother and does not have many lines, she would probably have married Paris had she not met Romeo. In the Elizabethan era woman often did as they were told as men believed they were far superior as they had jobs. Romeo on the other hand has a lot of dialogue and is quite lively in the first scenes, he shouts Shakespearian abuse at the young Capulet’s of similar age to Romeo. When Romeo and Juliet meet and get married in secret, Romeo is not as active as he knows he now must be more responsible, Romeo is contrasted to himself from earlier on in the play.

    Nurse is not quiet from the start of the play, but as it develops her character develops a role which involves her more with the main plot, the role is basically to keep the relationship happening with Romeo and Juliet. Lord and Lady Capulet have not been involved much till this point, now they are involved more because they are the ones this secret in being kept from, this is dramatic irony as the audience knows about the love Romeo and Juliet share. At the start of the play Lord and Lady Capulet are portrayed as a rich couple who do not have much time for Juliet, so they hire Nurse who is a loving and caring woman, she has breast fed Juliet so she is quite close to her, all she wants is for Juliet to be happy, she shares her experience with Juliet and is quite bordy. Juliet is the type of daughter is not heard or seen much at the beginning, she develops a more active role as the main character when she falls in love with Romeo. Lord Capulet is one of the leading citizens of Verona and he is head of one of the conflicting families. To Juliet, he is a very loving and caring father, he is a very contradictory person, he trusts everyone to behave and act appropriately and do as they are told.

    Lord Capulet is a loving father who cares a lot for Juliet and is very affectionate towards her. He is just trying to do what he feels best for Juliet when he arranges her to get married with Paris. During the Elizabethan era it was normal for the father of the family to pick out a husband for his daughter. He knows Paris will make a good husband to Juliet, as he is quite rich and handsome. Lady Capulet is not very important in this scene, she represents a typical wealthy woman of that time, she always listens to and respects Lord Caplet’s decisions, even though she does not get much say. Lord and Lady Capulet speak in blank verse, the tone of their voice and their type of language is just above ordinary as William Shakespeare includes them more in Romeo and Juliet as the plot gradually advances.

    Prose, blank verse or rhymed verse are the three forms of which Shakespeare uses in his language. He uses each to gain a specific type of effect. Shakespeare mainly uses prose with the less important character like Nurse at the start of Act 3 Scene 5; she uses short simple language and does not have many lines. ”God in heaven bless her! You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.” The language is easy to understand and is ordinary. In the beginning of Act 3, Scene 5 Rome and Juliet use rhyming verse, this gives the effect of their love, e.g. ‘streaks, east’, ‘die, I’. Lord and Lady Capulet and the Montague’s do not now about Romeo and Juliet, this shows dramatic irony as the audience do. Imagery is shown when Juliet says ‘It is some meteor that the sun exhaled To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,’. The passage makes the audience envision meteors being exhaled by the sun. The power of their love is the sun, the obstacles are the meteors, their love ‘exhales’ the obstacles and problems therefore destroying them, the second meaning is that Juliet is denying the arrival of a new day by using a clever play of words, so Romeo can stay with her for longer, this also portrays conflict between night and day .

    Shakespeare again plays on the theme that Juliet has power over her mother and father. Romeo describes her as transforming night into day. She now has the power to change a lark into a nightingale through the power of language. There is a repetition of the orchard and balcony scene where the lovers experience visions that emulate the end of the play. Romeo is described by Juliet as looking pale as someone dead in the bottom of a tomb. To Romeo she appears the same, but he describes it as the effects of sorrow Romeo will be dead the next time Juliet will meet him. Juliet has now fully matured, evident in her domination over her mother who is no match for her daughter’s intelligence, this is contrast form the start of the play were Juliet is portrays a good little girl who follows orders form her mother and father. She doesn’t even recognize her daughter’s proclamation of love for Romeo, which Juliet has carefully disguised. Juliet has also decided to break from her disloyal nurse.

    The nurse was a mentor for Juliet when she was a child, but now she is responsible like an adult because she is married, but Shakespeare has Juliet has cleverly linked this maturity with sexual experience, allowing the audience to witness Juliet’s use of metaphors. In fact Juliet feels so confident now, that she challenges her father being determined to control her own destiny, but when she finds this method unsuccessful, she sneaks behind his back, even if it means her own death. The reader might wonder why Juliet did not take the option offered to her by her father of being disowned, but this is not a course that she can take. Juliet, as a woman, cannot leave society, for a woman in Verona who cannot control the direction of her life must take the way of suicide, but instead of committing suicide she plans with Romeo and the priest to fake her death and elope with Romeo out of Verona, then taking a new identity with him. The plan fails horribly as she and Romeo end up committing suicide, because they both think that each other are dead. The theme of death, love and Juliet’s maturity the themes of this scene, although Juliet’s maturity is the main one. The theme of death is repeated throughout the play.

    The themes throughout the play are love, hate, death, marriage and family. Love is one of the main theme of the play and in act 3 scene 5, the play is about two lovers trying to defy their parents to be together, in act 3 scene 5 it highlights Romeo and Juliet’s possible last moments together and how they spend it. The two lovers come from warring families, but their families’ hatred is overcome by their love. Their whirlwind romance, however, ends in tragedy when each thinks the other is dead and chooses to commit suicide rather than live alone. Romeo and Juliet marry for love, a choice that is normal today. But in the Elizabethan world of the play, marriage for love, rather than money or social position, was a radical and dangerous choice, in the opinion of the people in those times it was the wrong choice. Romeo and Juliet are the children of the leaders of the rival families; they fall in love against their parents’ wishes and are married secretly. Their union is symbolic of a new focus on individual passion and inner conviction and in the play, it comes dangerously in conflict with social and familial expectations.

    They must pay a heavy price for marrying for love: Romeo and Juliet’s illegitimate union forces the lovers towards their tragic deaths. Violence is another theme, it is played upon by the younger members of the Capulet and Montague families such as Mercutio and Tybalt, at the start of the play they are abusing each other and sword fighting, Romeo kills Tybalt, this is part of their ongoing family feud. Fate is the lovers’ enemy in Romeo and Juliet. From the opening lines of the play, we know that this is the story of “star-crossed lovers.” When a boy and a girl from warring families fall in love, trouble is going to occur. The shadow of a tragic fate constantly hangs over their love, and it is against this dark threat that their romance sparkles so brilliantly, and attracts the audience to one of Shakespeare’s greatest plays. All the themes tie up to the death of Romeo and Juliet which shows the theme of tragedy is the most repetitive and main theme of Romeo and Juliet.

    The moral message of the play is nothing can come in the way of love, their love was so strong the ended killing themselves rather than being without each other, a modern message is teenagers will hardly listen to their parents especially if they are ”star crossed lover”. The main message of act 3 scene 5 is Juliet and Romeo will try and spend as much time with each other as possible and make a plan so they can be together, this conveys the power of love.

    In conclusion, Juliet matures greatly in act 3 scene 5, this is shown form her use of irony and metaphors, she fools her mum and dad into thinking different from what she actually means, in my opinion I think it is unfair on the woman in that era, because they do not get a choice to pick their ideal lifestyle and also are treated as second class citizens. In one way Juliet should respect her parent’s decisions in another it is her life and if she will be happier with Romeo than Paris, then her parents should accept it and put the old feud between the Capulet’s and Montague’s to rest. Nowadays there is generally less respect of parents from their children than there was in the Elizabethan era. Nowadays some cultures still have arranged marriages even if they are not happy about it. I think Juliet is right to stick by her own choices as it is her life.

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