Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scenes 3 - 5 Summary

     Scene 3 is back at Friar Laurence's cell where Romeo has come to seek solace and advice. Friar Laurence must tell Romeo that the Prince has decided to exile him as punishment for killing Tybalt. Romeo thinks this punishment is worse than death because it just prolongs the pain and torture. Friar Laurence is frustrated by Romeo not appreciating the gift of life. They hear a knock at the door and worry that someone is coming to kill Romeo, but it is only the Nurse. She explains that Juliet is heartbroken by the news that Romeo killed Tybalt and has been banished. Romeo feels even worse when he hears about how he has hurt his new bride. Friar Laurence tries to encourage Romeo. He points out the things for which Romeo should be thankful. First, Juliet is alive and still loves him. Second, he killed Tybalt instead of the other way around. Third, the Prince changed his punishment from death to exile. Therefore, he recommends that Romeo go visit Juliet and comfort her then sneak away to Mantua before anyone can find him. He can live there until Friar Laurence can explain about the marriage and beg pardon of the Prince, which will hopefully lead to Romeo's triumphant return. The Nurse is told to go home and have Juliet hasten everyone to bed so that they won't see Romeo sneak in. The Nurse then gives Romeo the wedding ring, which revives his spirit and gives him the strength to risk entering the Capulet grounds once more. Before he leaves, Friar Laurence tells Romeo that he will send Romeo's servant to Mantua periodically with any news.

     In scene 4 Capulet is speaking to Paris about how the death of Tybalt has upset everyone, so they need to put off speaking about marriage. Lady Capulet concurs that Juliet was very upset by the news. Then Capulet has an idea that perhaps a wedding is just what they need to cheer everyone up. He asks Paris what he thinks about marrying Juliet on Thursday, and Paris is thrilled. Capulet tells his wife to deliver the good news to Juliet.

     Scene 5 takes place early the next morning after what the audience can assume was the honeymoon for Romeo and Juliet. They wake up in Juliet's bedroom, and Romeo realizes that he needs to leave before he gets caught. Juliet does not want him to go, and they teasingly argue about his options. The Nurse barges in to tell Juliet that her mother is on her way, so Romeo quickly escapes out the window. As Juliet watches him climb down the ladder, she gets a bad feeling that she is looking at a dead person in the bottom of the tomb. She worries that she will never see him again. Juliet's mother enters, and they discuss the recent events with Romeo and Tybalt. She then shares the exciting news of Juliet's impending wedding to Paris. Juliet is not thrilled by the news, however, and questions why her parents are suddenly rushing her into this marriage. She tells her father that she is not interested in marrying Paris. Capulet becomes angry and tells her that she needs to show up at the church on Thursday, or he will disown her. Juliet asks her mother to try to delay the marriage, but her mother refuses. Juliet then turns to the Nurse for advice who tells her she should probably just marry Paris since Romeo is as good as dead to her anyway. Juliet is not happy with this advice, so she decides she will go talk to Friar Laurence, and if he cannot help her to escape this marriage, then she will kill herself.

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