Act 3, Scene 5:

Romeo and Juliet

By Kristina Ogbarmey-Tetteh

Key Characters

  • Romeo
  • Juliet
  • Nurse
  • Lady Capulet
  • Lord Capulet

Scene Summary

Romeo and Juliet have just consummated their marriage. Romeo realizes that it is almost dawn, and prepares to leave. Juliet claims that the bird calls they her from outside are not larks (morning birds), but instead nightingales (night birds). Romeo ignores this clam and tells her that if he stays he'll surely be killed. He continues to exit through Juliet's window. Juliet tries to convince Romeo that the light of the sun is actually coming from a meteor. Romeo, persuaded by her plea, tells Juliet that he will stay with her until the Prince's guards discover him and kill him. Juliet then comes to her senses and allows Romeo to leave. The Nurse then comes in to warn Juliet that Lady Capulet is coming to her bedroom, and exits. Romeo and Juliet kiss, and Romeo climbs down the rope ladder into the orchard below her window. Juliet asks Romeo if they will ever be together again, and Romeo tells her that he has no doubts. Juliet notices that Romeo appears dead, pale and in a tomb. Romeo tells Juliet that she does too, and leaves. Juliet begs fate to bring them back together again.

Lady Capulet calls for Juliet, as she ponders as to why her mother would want to speak to her so early in the morning. When Lady Capulet enters Juliet's room, Juliet is crying. Lady, unaware of Juliet's love and marriage between her and Romeo, mistakes Juliet's tears for mourning over Tybalt's death, rather than lamenting over Romeo's absence. Lady Capulet tells Juliet to stop crying, because mourning will not awake Tybalt from his grave, and what is done is done. Lady Capulet also tells Juliet that she should not be crying for Tybalt, but that the murderer, Romeo, still walks the streets, and references him to a villain. Juliet notifies towards the audience that Romeo is far from a villain, indicating that Juliet is not opposing Romeo in what she says, yet attempts to also be obedient and refrain from sinning at the same time, creating a double-take in her speech. Lady Capulet confides in Juliet that she plans to hire a hit man to kill Romeo with poison, in order to satisfy Juliet. Juliet tells her mother that she will never be satisfied "...til [she] behold[s] him-dead-..." (III.iv.94). The line signifies to the audience that Juliet will never be satisfied until she can freely hold Romeo in her arms, and to her mother that she will never be satisfied until he is dead. Juliet also comments on tempering with the poison, making her mother believe that she will make it stronger, and making the audience know that she is going to dilute it. Lady Capulet then tells her the real reason that she has come to her room, to tell her about her father's plan to wed her and Paris on Thursday, telling her that Lord Capulet believes the decision will make her happy. Juliet tells her mother that she would rather marry Romeo, an enemy, that Paris, showing her disinterest with Paris to her mother, and her loyalty for Romeo towards the audience. Lady Capulet tells Juliet to wait until her father comes home to hear her response. Lord Capulet, along with the Nurse, enter. When Lord Caplet arrives to hear the news, he is furious, believing that Juliet is being an ungrateful brat for missing up on such a great opportunity, and threatens to disown her from the family if she continues her disobedience. When the Nurse tells Lord Capulet to calm down, he tells her to shut up, as she is not welcome in their home. Lord Capulet then leaves. When Juliet asks her mother to interfere, she refuses, and also leaves.

Juliet asks the Nurse what she should do about the situation, and she advises Juliet that she should go through with the marriage with Paris, and get over Romeo, because he cannot come back, and even goes as far as to comparing Romeo to a dishcloth. Juliet pretends to agree, and tells the Nurse that she will marry Paris and is going to Friar Lawrence to make confession and be forgiven for marrying and consummating, when she is actually going to ask him for the next plan, and if the second plan does not work, that she will kill herself. Juliet swears hat she will never tell the Nurse her secrets again, cutting her off to the second plan.

Reasoning for song

In the beginning of Act 3.5, Romeo and Juliet have recently consummated their marriage, and took note of the rising sun. Romeo remembers that Friar Lawrence, his cleric, has instructed him to leave before the sun comes up, and tells Juliet he must go. Juliet tries to persuade Romeo to stay awhile, making him want to spend a little more time with her before he leaves, understanding that this may be (and was) their final night alive together, the message singer Adam Levine portrays in the lyrics.