This lesson provides a brief synopsis of the action of Act III, scene 5 of William Shakespeare's famous tragedy 'Romeo and Juliet,' where the two lovers finally reunite.
Romeo and Juliet Reunited
At the beginning of Act III, scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, it is early morning, and Romeo and Juliet are looking out of Juliet's bedroom window after having just spent the night together. Juliet says that the bird they hear is the nightingale, not the lark, meaning that it is still night and Romeo should stay. Romeo replies that he would rather stay with her and be killed than leave and go to Mantua.
Eventually they admit to themselves that it is morning, and Romeo really does need to leave. They say goodbye with Romeo promising to send her messages any chance he gets. As he lowers himself from the window to the ground, Juliet comments that her mind must be playing tricks on her; his pale face looks as if he is dead and in a grave. This is foreshadowing, or a clue about what will happen in the future, but Romeo just says that they are both pale from their sadness.
As Romeo is leaving, the nurse comes in and knowing that Romeo had been there the night before, tells Juliet that her mother is going to come to her room soon so she needs to be prepared. Lady Capulet enters and sees that Juliet has been crying. She thinks Juliet is still upset about Tybalt's death and tries to comfort her. She says the person who should be the most upset about Tybalt's death is the villain Romeo. She says she wants to send someone to poison him in Mantua and Juliet sneakily offers to do it herself, pretending that she hates Romeo, too.
Lady Capulet Brings Bad News
Lady Capulet changes the subject by saying she has good news. Juliet's wise and caring father has arranged a marriage with the noble Paris, and they will be getting married on Thursday.
Juliet refuses, wondering why her parents are in such a hurry for her to get married, and says that she would rather marry Romeo than Paris. This statement has a double meaning because her mother thinks that she is saying she would rather marry a person she hates than Paris but we, the audience, know that Juliet really loves and is married to Romeo. Lady Capulet replies that she should tell her father herself how she feels, and Lord Capulet enters a few moments later.
Lord Capulet Threatens Juliet
Juliet tells her father that she will not marry Paris and Lord Capulet becomes extremely angry, calling her ungrateful and threatening to disown her, or throw her out, if she does not marry Paris on Thursday. Both the nurse and Lady Capulet think he is being harsh and unreasonable but he does not change his mind. Her parents leave the room, and Juliet wonders what to do, knowing that marrying Paris would not only be terrible because she loves Romeo but it also would be against the laws of the church to marry someone when she is already married to someone else.
She asks the nurse's advice, and she tells her that she should probably just marry Paris because it is very unlikely that she'll ever see Romeo again. The nurse adds that Paris is overall a better match anyway because he is older and has a higher standing in society.
Juliet replies that her advice has made her feel better and that the nurse should tell her parents that she has changed her mind and is going to go to confession with Friar Laurence so that she will be absolved, or forgiven of her sins, to prepare for her wedding. The nurse agrees, saying that this is the right decision, but after she has left the room, Juliet says that hopefully either Friar Laurence will have a different plan to help her out of this mess or that she will have the courage to die instead.
In Act III, scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, the two lovers have finally been able to spend a night together as a married couple, but Romeo must leave early in the morning. Juliet's mother tells Juliet she must marry Paris, and when she refuses, her father becomes furious. Later, at the advice of her nurse, Juliet acts as if she has changed her mind. She says she is going to Friar Laurence to confess her sins, but she is really going to seek advice on how to avoid the marriage.