Romeo and Juliet: Act 3

Act 3, scene 1

  • Benvolio tries to convince Mercutio to go indoors as the Capulets are looking for a fight.
  • Tybalt arrives looking for Romeo. When Romeo does arrive, he refuses to fight with Tybalt, who he is now related to by marriage.
  • A fight breaks out between Mercutio and Tybalt, which ends with Mercutio being stabbed after Romeo, gets in the way.
  • While dying Mercutio curses both houses of Capulet and Montague.
  • In revenge for his friend’s death, Romeo looks for Tybalt and kills him.
  • When the Prince arrives, he exiles Romeo for his action of killing Tybalt.

What do we learn in scene 1?

  • Mercutio suggests that Benvolio is as quick to fight as Tybalt is.
  • Romeo gets in the way of Mercutio and Tybalt, which allows Tybalt to kill Mercutio, and makes Romeo partly responsible.
  • When he takes revenge for Mercutio’s murder by killing Tybalt, Romeo puts his friendship before his marriage to Juliet.
  • Romeo is banished from Verona’s walls rather than being killed for what he has done, as the Prince proclaimed would happen.

Act 3, scene 2

  • Juliet impatiently waits for Romeo to join her after their marriage however, the Nurse arrives with news that Tybalt had died.
  • Juliet curses Romeo’s name but when she discovers what happened she realizes she needs to stand beside her husband. The Nurse agrees to get a message to Romeo.

What do we learn in scene 2?

  • Juliet is very impatient to be with Romeo.
  • Juliet is angry at Romeo for killing Tybalt but then feels sorry for hating him.
  • Juliet refuses to see her parents who she knows are mourning Tybalt.

Act 3, scene 3

  • Romeo is hiding at Friar Lawrence’s cell and is given the news he has been banished. He is distraught and says that being banished is worse than being killed since he will not be able to see Juliet.
  • The Nurse arrives with news that Juliet still loves him and Friar Lawrence convinces Romeo to run away to Mantua while things settle down in Verona. He tells him to go to Juliet first, to consummate their marriage.

What do we learn in scene 3?

  • Romeo thinks death would be better than being banished.
  • Romeo cries and weeps and does not want to live without Juliet.

Act 3, scene 4

  • Paris visits Lord Capulet to seek Juliet’s hand in marriage.
  • Lord Capulet suggests that everyone is still grieving so no one can think about a wedding right not. However, as Paris is about to leave Lord Capulet changes his mind about Juliet marrying Paris sooner rather than later.

What do we learn in scene 4?

  • Paris once again tries to get Lord Capulet to agree to the wedding even though Tybalt has just died.
  • Lord Capulet suggests he knows his daughter’s mind and that she will agree to marry Paris.
  • Lady Capulet is left to deliver the news of the proposed marriage.

Act 3, scene 5

  • Romeo seeks to Juliet’s room where they have a brief conversation before the Nurse says that Juliet’s mother is coming.
  • Lady Capulet enters and tells Juliet that she is to marry Paris.
  • When Juliet refuses to marry Paris, Lord Capulet threatens to disown her if she continues to disagree.
  • When Juliet and the Nurse are alone, the Nurse tries to convince Juliet to forget Romeo and marry Paris. Juliet decides to visit Friar Lawrence

What do we learn in scene 5?

  • In Juliet and Romeo’s last moments together, there are several references to death and Juliet foreshadows Romeo’s death by saying he looks as though he is in a tomb.
  • Lord Capulet used to believe Juliet’s opinion was important in deciding whom she should marry but he now says he will disown her if she refuses to marry Paris.
  • Lady Capulet tries to calm her husband down but ends the scene but ends the theme by not having any further discussion on the matter.

Why is Act 3 important?

  • Act 3 is important because Romeo and Juliet are separated – with Romeo being banished and Juliet’s proposed marriage to Paris being brought forward.

Ms. Gumbs English Literature OCS 2019-2020