This part of the play is very tense and emotional. It is crucial to the order of the play. It tells us a lot about the writer and the characters in the play.
The actors should be sharp and alert. The acting should be quick and responsive, because if the mood of the play is not relayed properly it will look stupid.
The intension of the director is to tell the audience of the nurse being two faced to Juliet by telling her Romeo is best for her one minute and then telling her that Paris is best for her the next. Also to show that the parents don’t care what Juliet thinks of her future husband just as long as they approve of him. It is meant to portray the mother as being out of touch with her daughter and a bit clueless, also to signify the dramatic irony that is what Juliet is saying. Old Capulet should come across as a bit of an ogre being the “baddie” of the scene. The idea the actors have to try and get across is the tension now in the family because of Juliet’s newfound love.
You are meant to be chirpy and pretending to care about Juliet’s sorrow. You say all the normal “how do you do’s” Don’t really take any notice of Juliet because this will signify to the audience that you don’t really care your just being nice. You should prance about the stage to give the impression that everything is nice and happy. Example, Juliet says that she is not well. Lady Capulet says jumps to the conclusion that it is Tybalt’s death you are crying about. “Evermore weeping for your cousin’s death?” this is meant to be said with a bit of bounce in your voice as if it were a normal every day question. But as the scene evolves you are meant to take it a bit more seriously. You should start to think more about Juliet’s well being and trying to look more concerned. You also should start to get into the lines and start to really start to feel the lines. You should also when old Capulet starts to get aggressive towards yourself, Juliet and the nurse get very emotional. Still act intimidated but stand your ground and try and overcome Capulet. When you leave the lines “talk not with me, for I’ll not speak a word. Do as thou wilt, I have done with thee”. This is meant to be said apologetically but also in disgust.
You walk into the seen almost singing the first couple of lines you are so happy. You should dance a about the room like its your birthday to show that you are really exited about next weeks activities. The next lines “Soft! Take me with you, wife.” These are almost said in disbelief but the more you talk the more aggressive you should sound and become. You should get louder and dominate the stage. Line 160 on “hang thee, young disobedient wretch!” you should physically grab Juliet and shake her. The nurse will try and get you off Juliet but just throw her off and have a go at the nurse instead, (still hold Juliet). When lady Capulet has a go at you let go of Juliet and cool down slightly but still say your lines firmly. Exit the stage with some sort of spiteful act. This will show you are leaving but this is not over. Maybe knock a vase off a shelf or something.
When Lady Capulet and Juliet are conversing about Tybalt’s death try look concerned but don’t let your eyes stray from them or it will look as if you are uninterested. But as soon as Lady Capulet mentions Romeo look away so that Juliet dosen’t notice you listening. When old Capulet walks in look normal and smiling. Try to look bothered about old Capulet shouting but don’t get involved until old Capulet gets physical with Juliet. You should leap up and start tugging on old Capulet’s arm to try and stop him from hurting her. “God in heaven bless her! You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.” Should be said with force but with a pleading tone. When you are arguing with Old Capulet start to get more confident but don’t get aggressive. When you are talking to Juliet after the ordeal put your arm around her and try to persuade her that Paris is better for her than Romeo.
When you are talking to Lady Capulet you are agreeing with her but as a double meaning. Nodding simultaneously to show that you understand what she is saying. Until we get to the line “Indeed, I never shall be satisfied with Romeo, till I behold him (PAUSE) dead” this is when Juliet really starts to act the part. But you have to say those lines with anger to really befall lady Capulet. When Capulet starts to have a go at you try fight back, but when he grabs you burst into tears and say your line in sort of blubbering talk this will tell the audience you are still a little girl and you are not used to having this pressure. When he leaves still feel sorry for yourself but cheer up slightly. When Lady Capulet leaves try and please the Nurse but don’t give in. Sound understanding about what then nurse has to say but don’t put your arm round her, or this will look as if you are best friends with the nurse again. Don’t trust her because she is saying the better choice is Paris and before she said it was for Romeo.
I could of cut out bits of this scene because it would get boring but if the acting is good enough it will be okay. The parts of the play where old Capulet starts getting angry go quickly that in a professional film I saw they cut out huge chunks out of this scene and if you listen to the lines carefully they don’t make sense. Also actor’s words were slurred. I don’t know if this was the quality of the acting or if it was the actor was trying to show real anger. The actors for Juliet and Old Capulet have to be good because their part in this scene are the most vital.