Romeo and Juliet Act Three

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Scene I

This scene is described as a public place. Mercutio and Benvolio enter with their servants. By what they say, we know there is trouble in the air

The day is hot, the Capulets abroad,
And, if we meet, we shall not scape a brawl;
For now, these hot days, is the mad blood stirring.

It isn't long before Tybalt enters with his men. Tybalt is looking for Romeo. Mercutio and Tybalt have words. Benvolio tries to calm them down. His second attempt in the play as peacemaker. The first was when he tried to break up the brawl in the first scene and ended up fighting Tybalt.

Romeo enters. He has just been married to Juliet. Fighting Tybalt is the last thing on his mind since the two young men are now related by marriage. Tybalt challenges Romeo with;

Romeo, the hate I bear thee can afford
No better term than this,--thou art a villain.

It is likely that before Tybalt says 'thou art a villain', he might slap Romeo in the face with his glove.

Romeo responds with;

Tybalt, the reason that I have to love thee
Doth much excuse the appertaining rage
To such a greeting: villain am I none;
Therefore farewell; I see thou know'st me not.

Tybalt is not satisfied with Romeo's offer of love.

Boy, this shall not excuse the injuries
That thou hast done me; therefore turn and draw.

Romeo refuses to fight so Mercutio challenges Tybalt. Tybalt happily accepts, but as they fight, Romeo tries to break them up. He gets in the way of the two men and Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeo's arm. Tybalt runs off, and neither Romeo nor Benvolio realize how hurt Mercutio is. Romeo says

Courage, man; the hurt cannot be much.

Despite the seriousness of his wound Mercutio tries to be funny

No, 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide as a church-door; but 'tis enough,'twill serve: ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.

Benvolio helps Mercutio into a house and moments later comes out to tell Romeo that his friend; Merutio is dead.

Romeo is enraged.

Tybalt comes back and Romeo challenges Tybalt fo fight.

Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio's soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.

They fight and Romeo manages to kill Tybalt. Benvolio urges Romeo to leave. This is a great place to have an intermission if a theatre company is going to do the play in two acts. After this moment everything changes in the play. The tragedy kicks into high gear.

The citizens come on to see what happened and the Capulets and Montagues come on stage. The Prince also enters. The Capulets plead for vengeance against Romeo and the Montagues plead for mercy. The Prince decrees that Romeo will be banished from Verona, never to return.

Scene II

Juliet is waiting impatiently for nightfall and for the chance to be with Romeo as seen by the following monologue. Gallop apace you firey-footed steeds. The Nurse shows up with the roped ladder that Romeo is to climb the balcony with and into her bedroom. But the Nurse has bad news. Romeo has killed her cousin Tybalt and furthermore Romeo is to be banished from Verona. Juliet does not know what to think. She is torn that her husband could do such an awful thing. But when the nurse says

Shame come to Romeo!

Juliet immediately comes to his defense.

Blister'd be thy tongue
For such a wish!

The Nurse chides her for speaking so well of him that killed her cousin, but Juliet loves Romeo above her whole family. She would rather they were dead than he. She becomes terribly distraught about Romeo's banishment. She doesn't know how she will live without him. See Juliet's Banished monologue.

The Nurse cannot see Juliet suffer so. She tells Juliet that she knows where Romeo is hiding, that he is hiding at Friar Laurence's cell. The Nurse says she will find Romeo and that he will reunite with Juliet that night. Juliet ends the scene rather prophetically

O, find him! give this ring to my true knight,
And bid him come to take his last farewell.

Scene III

This next scene is a parallel scene to the previous one. In the previous scene, Juliet; on learning of Romeo's banishment is inconsolable. Likewise when Friar Laurence tells Romeo that for killing Tybalt, the Prince has banished him, that Romeo must leave Verona, never to return, Romeo too, becomes inconsolable. He will no longer be able to see Juliet. Being banished is as bad as being dead, for life without Juliet is not life. Romeo sees life outside Verona as

purgatory, torture, hell itself.

The Friar tries to reason with Romeo, that banishment is not that bad, that Romeo will still be alive. But Romeo counters with that even flies will live in a more honourable state than Romeo, because they will be able to be near Juliet, but he will not.

Romeo won't take comfort from the Friar, because the Friar doesn't feel what a young man feels.

Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel:
Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered,
Doting like me and like me banished,
Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair,
And fall upon the ground, as I do now,
Taking the measure of an unmade grave.

The Nurse arrives and upon seeing Romeo on the floor weeping, tells the Friar

Even so lies she,
Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering

Romeo upon hearing of Juliet's distress pulls his sword out and tries to kill himself but the Friar stops him. The Friar then scolds Romeo for his womanish tears. He tells Romeo that he doesn't realize how good he has it.

rouse thee, man! thy Juliet is alive,
For whose dear sake thou wast but lately dead;
There art thou happy: Tybalt would kill thee,
But thou slew'st Tybalt; there are thou happy too:
The law that threaten'd death becomes thy friend
And turns it to exile; there art thou happy:
A pack of blessings lights up upon thy back;
Happiness courts thee in her best array;
But, like a misbehaved and sullen wench,
Thou pout'st upon thy fortune and thy love:

The Friar tells Romeo to go see Juliet that night, to be with her. Before the sun comes up the next day, he must steal away to the town of Mantua. He must stay there til the Friar, the Nurse and Juliet can find a way to reconcile the two familes and to beg pardon of the Prince so that Romeo will be allowed to return. The Nurse leaves to tell Juliet that Romeo is coming.

Friar Laurence tells the banished Romeo that he will give messages to Balthasar; Romeo's page, to keep Romeo up to date on the news from Juliet. Romeo leaves; overjoyed.

Scene IV

In the Capulet's house, Lord Capulet, Lady Capulet and Paris enter. Paris has been presenting his case for marrying Juliet to Lord Capulet. Her family does not realize she has been already married to Romeo. Because of the recent death of Tybalt, Paris thinks this is perhaps not the right time for talk of marriage, but Lord Capulet impulsively decides that the best thing for Juliet and for the family is for Juliet to be married right away to Paris.

Ironically, at this moment, Juliet is in bed with Romeo

As Lord Capulet gets more and more excited about the idea, he tells his wife to let Juliet know that she will be married in four days. In those days of course, parents often made the marriage choices for their children, especially the daughters. Juliet has rebelled against this tradition by secretly wedding Romeo.

As the scene ends, Lady Capulet exits to tell Juliet what she thinks are glad tidings.

Scene V

This scene begins in the pre-dawn with Romeo about to leave Juliet on the balcony of her bedroom. The poetry here; their dialogue, is more mature and grown up, then it has been earlier. The consumation of their marriage, the joining of their two souls, has given them a shared sense of being.

Romeo lets the audience know it is morning with these words;

look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops

The morning means they have to part. Several times in this play, darkness is welcomed, and daylight is shunned. Here the daylight means if Romeo is found at Juliet's, or in Verona, he will be put to death.

Juliet tries to convince him to stay with her by saying that it is not yet day, but still night with these words;

Yond light is not day-light, I know it, I:
It is some meteor that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua:
Therefore stay yet; thou need'st not to be gone.

Romeo says he will stay, and face death, not wanting to part from Juliet, but then Juliet panics when she sees the growing light and urges him to leave. Romeo agrees reluctantly with the contrasting imagery of;

More light and light; more dark and dark our woes!

The Nurse enters and warns Juliet that her mother is coming, creating more tension for the young lovers. They may soon be discovered. Thus, the coming of daylight is devastating.

Then, window, let day in, and let life out.

Juliet; when she sees Romeo on the ground below her, has a dark premonition. This premonition acts as foreshadowing for what is about to happen.

O God, I have an ill-divining soul!
Methinks I see thee, now thou art below,
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb:
Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale.

Romeo leaves the stage and Juliet will never see him alive again. She is distraught.

Lady Capulet calls Juliet downstairs to talk to her of the impending marriage to Paris. Juliet is upset and crying. Lady Capulet thinks it is because she is depressed about her cousin Tybalt's death at the hands of Romeo. In reality, Juliet is weeping because Romeo has left her. When Lady Capulet mentions the impending marriage to Paris:

Marry, my child, early next Thursday morn,
The gallant, young and noble gentleman,
The County Paris, at Saint Peter's Church,
Shall happily make thee there a joyful bride.

Juliet gets angry.

Now, by Saint Peter's Church and Peter too,
He shall not make me there a joyful bride.

Lord Capulet enters and assumes that Juliet's tears are for her cousin Tybalt. He asks Lady Capulet;

Have you deliver'd to her our decree?

Lady Capulet responds;

Ay, sir; but she will none, she gives you thanks.
I would the fool were married to her grave!

Lord Capulet gets very angry at Juliet for being disobedient.

Hang thee, young baggage! disobedient wretch!
I tell thee what: get thee to church o' Thursday,
Or never after look me in the face:
Speak not, reply not, do not answer me;

When the Nurse tries to interfere on Juliet's behalf Lord Capulet gets angry at her.

Peace, you mumbling fool!
Utter your gravity o'er a gossip's bowl;
For here we need it not.

Lord Capulet gives Juliet an ultimatum. Marry Paris or else;

Thursday is near; lay hand on heart, advise:
An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets

Lord Capulet then storms out. Juliet then begs her mother to save her from this marriage to Paris and her reply is cold and unfeeling;

Talk not to me, for I'll not speak a word:,
Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee.

Lady Capulet then leaves and Juliet turns to the Nurse for some comfort but the poor Nurse doesn't see a way out for Juliet. She tells Juliet to marry Paris because Romeo has been banished and is as good as dead to Juliet. Juliet is enraged at the Nurse for betraying her.

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, counsellor;
Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.

Juliet has now broken the connection with all who were part of her family. This love she feels for Romeo has consumed her. It has destroyed all the family connections she used to have. Then Juliet leaves to go see the Friar.

I'll to the friar, to know his remedy:
If all else fail, myself have power to die.



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