The scene opens on Romeo and Juliet after their wedding night and, despite the dangers and risks facing them, Shakespeare creates an atmosphere of love, devotion and playfulness between them. At the start of the scene Romeo knows he must go because of the hatred and the differences between their families however Juliet, very much in love with him, insists that he stay for longer as she can not stand to be without him, the love between them is clear as is shown by Juliet’s language, as she calls Romeo her ‘love’ the language used by her shows their sadness and reluctance to leave each other when they realise that it is growing lighter and going from night to morning they realise they must depart from each other Juliet tells him he must or he will be found and be killed by her family. Romeo responds to this with ‘let me be put to death’ this statement shows how he is willing to lose his life and die for Juliet.
Also, an atmosphere of sadness is created between them in how Juliet describes him as her ‘life’ as if to say if Romeo was to leave it would be like her losing her life to her again this also shows how committed she is to him having known each other for only a few days. As Romeo is leaving, Juliet imagines she sees him dead at the bottom of a tomb this may have had a large effect on the audience as the people of that time believed in the things of visions and would possibly give the audience an idea that Romeo would die later in the play drawing them further into the story wanting to see more. At this point the nurse enters the scene she warns the couple of Juliet’s mothers approach and tells Romeo he must leave again reminding the audience of how very far apart these two have to be from each other, the now sense of danger adds more tension to the scene as the audience now expects Juliet’s mother to come in any moment and find the two together and they would be exposed.
Shakespeare also uses the character of lady Capulet to add drama to the scenes. In this scene lady Capulet enters Juliet’s room to tell her of her marriage to Paris which is planned by her father to hopefully cheer the family up to overcome the death of tybalt the distance between the two is clearly show with her “unaccustomed” entry into Juliet’s chambers and the language between them, ‘who is that calling is it my lady mother’, when lady Capulet calls to Juliet the sound of her voice is unfamiliar to her as she must ask who it is that calls to her, showing they spend little or no time together as she does not recognise even her own mother’s voice. Another example of this is lady
Capulet’s language to Juliet and how she addresses her formally rather than informally as most families do. ‘ho daughter are you up’ the way that cousins death will though wash him form his grave with thy tears?’ this lady Capulet addresses her is not as how a normal mother might, as she calls to her not by her informal first name, but as her tile to her as ‘daughter’ and also teases her as a response to her grieving to her cousin Tybalt; which is a cover for her sadness that Romeo is gone, ‘evermore weeping for your cousins death?’ her language her shows the lack of compassion that she has for her daughter and the distance between them.
Further to this, it is arguable that lord Capulet is the most dramatic character in Romeo and Juliet as he displays moods that make the audience both pity and despise him; this is shown to us when Juliet attempts to defy her father by not marrying Paris. Due to the time this play was set in the women were regarded as lower class than men and it was the height of rudeness and embarrassment to be disobeyed by a women. By disobeying him Lord Capulet is shocked and confused, being so powerful and commanding he would never of had anyone disobey him so to have his own daughter do it to him must have been unimaginable to him. This is proven when he says, ‘Soft, take me with you wife, how will she none?’ here it shows his confusion as he asks his wife to explain to him how it is possible Juliet has refused his “decree”.
Another reason for him to be confused as to why she would disobey him is that he had found his daughter the best groom she could ever hope for ‘it makes me mad… a gentleman of noble parentage of fair demise youthful and nobly trained… to answer I’ll not wed I cannot love’ this shows his outrage and confusion as to why she would say no to the proposed marriage, as he does not know of her marriage to Romeo and only cares that she is disobeying him for what seems like no reason. However, these emotions may make the audience pity him but the other emotions he displays make the audience hate and despise him, throughout his rage with Juliet he threatens her and insults her ‘my fingers itch… die in the streets for by my soul I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee’ the threats he uses her show the violent extremes that he is prepared to go to even as far as beating his daughter to ensure that she does not disobey him and that his honour and reputation aren’t shattered by her disobedience.
Throughout his rage Juliet begs her father to understand her without reason ‘[kneeling] good father I beseech you on my knees hear me with patience but to speak a word’, Her persistent begging shows how desperate she is to avoid being married to Paris due to her devotion to her ‘love’ Romeo his reaction to her is an ultimatum against her he tells her ‘I tell thee what: get thee to church o’ Thursday or never after look me in the face!’ there he tell her she must marry or he will cast her out of his life this would probably be a shock to Elizabethan audience as for a father to throw his daughter out into the streets is a terrible thing to do and it would also impose the audiences ever growing hatred towards him. However a modern audience again would feel pity towards Juliet attempting to understand her situation and how difficult it would be for her and they would probably also again grow to hate Lord Capulet even more for his despicable behaviour towards Juliet.
Shakespeare also presents us with a conflict of interest here between Juliet and her parents; when Lord Capulet tells her that she must wed on Thursday or be thrown out on the streets.
The re appearance of the nurse on the stage also adds tension to the end of the scene in the way that she bravely stands up to Capulet when he threatens to hit her, showing the strong motherly bond that the two share. While Juliet is being threatened and insulted by her father the nurse stops lord Capulet and attempts to calm his temper against Juliet by telling him that it is his fault that she is acting the way that she is ‘you are to blame my lord to rate her so’ her actions in the scene show how strong the bond between them is as the nurse is willing to risk her job and life to protect Juliet from her raging father, also the audience being of Elizabethan times would never of had seen a lower class worker confront there master to there face and due to the difference in class this adds a shock to the audience and adds tension to the scene.
His reaction to her is somewhat cruel as when she steps in he then turns on her and begins insulting her ‘and why, my lady wisdom? Hold your tongue. Smatter with your gossips go!’ this could make the audience assume that he would attack her as he threatened his own daughter with violence so one of his employee’s would be more likely to be the victim of his rage, however he does not and her interruption does little to slow him down with his attack on Juliet. After the Capulet lord and lady leave Juliet she begs the nurse for an answer to her problems ‘O nurse how shall this be prevented… comfort me counsel me’ her we see how desperate she is for a way out and with no one else to turn to but her childhood parent she bags for his wisdom on how she can escape her problems. However her response is not one that Juliet enjoys as she tells her to forget Romeo and to let their relationship die and marry instead
Paris so she may be happy in a second wedlock, Juliet cannot believe that she would say this as it was the nurse who encouraged her to seek Romeo ‘speakst thou from thy heart?’ at first it seams as if Juliet is thankful for her advice however when she leaves Juliet’s final words in the scene reveal the truth ‘Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend! Is it more sin to wish me thus forsworn, Or to dispraise my lord with that same tongue Which she hath praised him with above compare So many thousand times? Go, counselor; Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain. I’ll to the friar, to know his remedy: If all else fail, myself have power to die.’ Here her suicidal response is both shocking and surprising to both modern and Elizabethan audiences as the main character committing suicide would be a huge twist in the story line
In conclusion I thought the scene demonstrated several ways in that shake spear made the play dramatic, and how he was a brilliant writer of his time. The one scene alone has deception, love, anger, hatred, joy, happiness, and anticipation built into it which structure it and make it an enjoyable tale to see and hear which is why it is still one of the most influential love stories ever produced.