Romeo and Juliet: Act 3, Scene 5

Just as dawn begins to break, Romeo prepares to leave Juliet and flee to Mantua. Juliet tries to keep him from leaving by telling him that it is not morning and that is not the morning lark he hears but the nightingale.

Romeo, once again showing his dangerous passion says that he doesn’t care about the prince’s threats, he is staying with Juliet. Upon hearing this, Juliet agrees that it is morning and tells Romeo that it is time to go. The Nurse come in and tells them that Lady Capulet is on her way. Romeo lowers himself down to the ground and promises Juliet that they will see each other again. Juliet tells him he looks as pale as someone at the bottom of a tomb (Foreshadowing) Romeo runs off begging fate to bring them together again.

Lady Capulet, seeing that Juliet is crying mistakes her tears for Romeo for tears for the slain Tybalt. We once again see Lady Capulet’s desire to see Romeo dead. She then tells Juliet that she is to be married on Thursday to Paris, which appals Juliet. “I will not marry yet; and when I do, I swear, it shall be Romeo-whom you know I hate-rather than Paris.”

Capulet enters the room and can’t believe that his daughter would dare to disobey him in this way. He threatens to disown her and says that he will pretend that he never had a daughter. Juliet’s mother does not intervene.

When they both leave, Juliet asks the Nurse for help but she says that Paris is a much better match than Romeo who is as good as dead anyway. Juliet plays along and tells the Nurse she needs to go to confession with Friar Lawrence. She hurries to the friar, insisting that if he can not help her, she can always take her own life.


  1. How do we know that Juliet doesn’t want Romeo to leave at the beginning of the scene?
  2. How does the playwright use foreshadowing in this scene? Explain your answer.
  3. How does Juliet react to the news about her wedding?
  4. What is Capulet’s reaction to Juliet’s decision not to marry Paris? Explain with reference to the text.
  5. What is your opinion of the way Capulet speaks to Juliet? Is this different from today’s world? Explain how.
  6. Why do you think Juliet wants to go to confession?
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