In this scene Shakespeare makes Romeo and Juliet’s situation even more difficult. Why is this scene so dramatic?
The play is written about people and how much to interest is in not just the portrayal of the joy and heartache of first love and sexual attraction, but also issues of rising against parents and believing oneself to be misunderstood. Play is full of dramatic irony as the prologue tells the audience what will happen throughout the play. It also explains about the family feud that has been going on throughout generations.
Romeo and Juliet had little stagecraft in those days, they didn’t have any special effects so there language had to be powerful. They also had to act a 5 day story line in 2 hours which included murders, secrets, marriages and plotting, making it very dramatic.
Shakespeare wrote Romeo and Juliet in 1593, it is considered a Greek tragedy because by the end of the play a number of people are dead.
Juliet finds herself in a very difficult situation. She has secretly married Romeo without her parent’s knowledge. Romeo has killed Tybalt in revenge for the killing of Mercutio. She knows that her parents want her to marry Paris, which she now is really in a weak position.
Act 3, scene four is very short: Capulet tells Paris he can marry his daughter Juliet, one of the reasons why Capulet wants Juliet to marry Paris is because he is a wealthy relation of the Prince of Verona, perfect match for Juliet. Time is running out for the “star cross lovers”. The audience know many things that Capulet dose not like (Juliet is married to Romeo) this is building dramatic irony as well as tension.
Act 3 scene 5 starts with Romeo and Juliet talking, after their first and only night together. The audience knows that Juliet’s father has plans for her and Paris to be married- she doesn’t. The audience also know that Juliet’s mother may come in at any time this adds to the tensions. Romeo knows he needs to get out of there as he says “I must be gone and live, or stay and die”. Shakespeare is ambiguous here as this could be looked at two meanings as we know Juliet’s mum is coming or that this might be where Romeo dies. Romeo keeps talking about death;
“Therefore stay yet, thou need’s not to be gone, I have more care to stay than will to go”. He also talks about light and dark. Romeo says
“More light and light, more dark and dark our woes!”
Mostly everything good happens to Romeo and Juliet in the dark as the first time they saw each other and spend the first night together since they have been married. All of this is dramatic language of love and death combined.
Juliet has a feeling that she sees Romeo dead, making the audience wonder if they will ever see each other again.
“Methinks I see thee now, that art so low, as one death in the bottom of a tomb”.
Romeo and Juliet are seen in the early hours of Tuesday morning note that the lovers have been together during hours of darkness, as they recently married. When light comes they have to part , and would only reunite in the darkness, this time there is a permanent darkness of death which the audience knew from the prologue. As light came, Juliet was no longer with Romeo, and doesn’t know when she will see him again.
Lady Capulet talks to her daughter after Romeo has left. She doesn’t know how Juliet feels about Romeo and their secret marriage t.
“So shall you feel the loss, but not the fiend which you weep for”?
“Lady Capulet that is because you traitor murder lives”, says Juliet. Juliet tries to convince her mother that she is upset because of Tybalt’s death. The audience knows she is lying, this is dramatic irony, as are the other references to death in the play and the future. Then her mum tells Juliet that she is to marry Paris.
“Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn”, she then says
“Shall happily make thee the a joyful bride”, she dose not seem to hate her daughter, because she assumes marriage will help her grief.
Both parents seem more concerned with pleasing Paris than Juliet’s happiness.
When Capulet comes in he expects his daughter to do exactly what he says both him and Lady Capulet.
Juliet is meant to marry Paris because he comes from a wealthy family also it will help her get over Tybalt’s death. When he discovers that Juliet will not marry Paris, he loses his temper and is very abusive to her
“Or I will drag three on a hurdle thither”.
“Out, you green sickness carrion! Out, you baggage! You tallow face!
At this stage Capulet is in an angry mood but when he leaves the room he is claim again. In the play you will notice that Capulet starts of claim then goes angry ‘Tempest tossed body’, this is a metaphor of the way Capulet acts when he loses his tempter, then goes calm again.
Capulet is very harsh when he speaks to Juliet, For example he says
“I tell thee what: get to church a ‘Thursday’ or never after look me in the face”.
Capulet is showing control over Juliet he is saying that you are getting married on Thursday, and if you don’t then I don’t want to know you.
Juliet’s behaviour has changed dramatically since the start of the play, she has become more confident in answering back and disobeying her parents, especially back then it wasn’t found upon to misbehave. Juliet is acting as if she just wants to be an adult. I think this is as she has just got married and feels she is older than what she actually is. Although outside Juliet is angry and upset with her parents inside she is feeling guilty and she has dropped herself in it and knows all her parents are doing is try to help. Juliet’s indecent behaviour started to rapidly increase as the scene progresses. She reaches the highest point when she goes behind her parents back and marries Romeo; this is why Juliet is going to feel guilty as she has to argue with her parents to prevent her marrying Paris.
Capulet is protective over his daughter, most likely because she is his only child, he seems to be afraid of how fast she’s growing up at the beginning of the play, especially when Paris asks him to marry Juliet; “My child is yet a stranger in the world, She hath not seen the change of fourteen years;”. Capulet is unwilling to let his only daughter marry so early, but invites Paris to a feast at his mansion that evening. After initially telling his wife to give the news about the wedding to Juliet he goes in after, expecting to see Juliet please, but finds her upset. He offers sympathy to her as she seems upset.
“How now a Conduit girl? What still in tears?”
This fatherly comfort soon disappears after he discovers that Juliet refuses to marry Paris. He then begins to start throwing insults at her in a growing rage. He is feeling this way because he as her father is meant to be in complete control, and she is refusing to do as he says is belittling and in his eyes, it makes him less of a man. This is the turning point in the play, where the relationship between Juliet and Lord Capulet has changed because of her love for Romeo; it reflects the theme of the play of a child’s relationship and attitude towards their parents, which is still relevant in the 21st Century. Adding to the drama is that the scene is cross-purposing as she seems to always be crying, as an audience we know it’s mainly about Romeo fleeing but her parents think it’s about Tybalt dyeing.
In Verona there was a masculine society (patriarchal). Where men ruled and were expected to be obeyed. I think Romeo and Juliet were to show that Capulet is a cruel man, and he always wants his own way.
The effect this all has on the audience is that they know that Juliet is already married to Romeo, and now that they have see how Capulet is like this makes the audience wonder what she is going to do now?.
Juliet is left on her own and has no one to turn to, even the nurse who is look at a mother to Juliet tells her she is spoiled and Capulet is right and that she should marry Paris, but we know the only reason she is doing this is to safe her job, as when she try helping Juliet first, Capulet told her it is not any of her business and tells her to back way if she want to keep her job.
As this scene starts to come to an end, Lord Capulet is forcing the wedding and trying to get it done as soon as possible, but at the beginning of the scene when Juliet seems to obey what her father said, he seems quite calm and relaxed about the whole situation. I think the change in attitude is to do with his daughter’s behaviour and hoping he can get it done before she decided to change her mind again.
In conclusion, this scene sheds light on why Juliet is so distanced from her mother. When Juliet expresses her opposition to marrying Paris (and thus defying her parents’ wishes for a economically beneficial match) Lady Capulet fumes: “I would the fool were married to her grave!” Juliet’s mother will offer neither intervention nor consolation for her daughter.
This scene also serves to further isolate Juliet from any adult who might give her wise guidance. Even her beloved nurse abandons her; she too advocates marriage to Paris. Juliet feels she has nowhere else to turn other than Friar Lawrence, whose occult-like schemes should be suspect to anyone with sense.
The end of the act finds Juliet and Romeo alone in their immature ability to reason. The result is the inevitable tragedy.
The story of Romeo and Juliet offers a lot of lesson to be learned and as a result of the death of Romeo and Juliet the two families of Capulet and Montague are brought back to living harmoniously.