Romeo and Juliet Summary by Michael McGoodwin: Part Two

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Romeo and Juliet Summary by Michael McGoodwin: Part Two

Post by Rachid Amri on Fri Feb 22, 2008 12:06 am

Act III
Act III Scene 1

Verona, a public place. Benvolio advises Mercutio they should leave to avoid the Capels. Mercutio makes more witty comments but will not retire. Tybalt, Petruchio, and others of the Capulet factions enter. Tybalt wishes a word with them, and Mercutio is provocative and insulting. Benvolio tries to get him to leave the public place but Mercutio refuses. Romeo arrives, and Tybalt calls Romeo a villain. But Romeo says he loves him for reasons he cannot then explain. Mercutio is incensed at Romeo's apparent submissiveness and draws his rapier on Tybalt. Romeo tries to get him to put it up, Mercutio and Tybalt fight, Romeo steps between them, and Tybalt stabs Mercutio under Romeo's arm. Tybalt is mortally wounded and ends his life with final wit: "A plague o' both your houses! ...A scratch, a scratch; marry, 'tis enough", etc. He exits carried away by Benvolio. Romeo laments that Mercutio was slain defending against Tybalt's slander of Romeo. Benvolio. returns and tells Romeo that Mercutio is dead, and Romeo knows that the days to follow will bring further woe. Tybalt returns, Romeo discards lenity and demands Tybalt take back his accusation of villainy. They fight, Romeo slays Tybalt, then flees. Citizens and the Prince arrive along with Capulet, Lady Capulet. Benvolio recounts the fight. Lady Capulet calls for vengeance against Romeo. Prince tells how Romeo tried to stop the fighting, etc. Lady Capulet thinks his testimony cannot be trusted as he is a Montague kinsman. Prince laments the death of his kinsman, Mercutio, and pronounces the banishment of Romeo.

Act III Scene 2
Capulet's house. Juliet eagerly awaits the night and consummation of her marriage. Nurse arrives with the cords from Romeo, says he is dead, and only after a delay clarifies it is Tybalt she speaks of and that Romeo is banished. Juliet calls Romeo a beautiful tyrant, a serpent heart, then regrets that she has chided he that is her husband. She knows Tybalt would have killed Romeo. She despairs the banishment and assumes she will not see him. But Nurse reassures Juliet that Nurse will find him. He is hiding at FL's cell. Juliet gives a ring to Nurse to give to Romeo and asks that he come to her.

Act III Scene 3
Verona, FL's cell. Romeo laments his fate. FL reassures him that it will be a temporary banishment and is philosophical. Romeo pitifully envisions that even carrion flies have the advantage of being able to steal blessings from her lips that are denied to him. Nurse arrives and views the weeping Romeo, speaks in bawdy double meanings. She tells him Juliet has not abandoned him despite the killing. Romeo thinks of killing himself but is restrained. FL advises him to be reasonable and not so womanish and shameful in his behavior. He tells Romeo to go to Juliet and then leave for Mantua until FL can arrange to announce the marriage, beg pardon of the Prince, and call him back. Nurse gives Romeo the ring and departs to ready Juliet for his coming.

Act III Scene 4
Capulet house, Monday. Capulet tells Paris he has been distracted by the death from pursuing Paris' suit. Paris is understanding. Capulet asks Lady Capulet to make an entreaty to Juliet for Paris before she goes to bed. It is Monday and he wants her to wed Thursday [an extraordinary hastiness]. He wants a modest wedding ceremony in view of Tybalt's recent death.

Act III Scene 5
Capulet's orchard and Juliet's chamber, dawn Tuesday. Juliet and Romeo appear aloft at the bedroom window. Dawn is approaching, but she tries to pretend it is still night, that it is the nightingale and not the lark they have heard singing. But Romeo is more realistic and knows he must leave for Mantua--the light brings darker woes for him.

Nurse enters and tells them to be wary, and Romeo departs, saying "I doubt it not, and all these woes shall serve/For sweet discourses in our time to come." But Juliet has a vision that she will see him "as one dead in the bottom of a tomb./Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale."

Her mother enters [apparently she did not come the night before after all] and Juliet says she is not well, which Lady Capulet assumes to be due to her continued and excessive grief at the death of Tybalt. Lady Capulet calls Romeo a villain and wants vengeance on him. Juliet, speaking in intentional double meanings, talks of tempering poison for Romeo that would give him quiet sleep. Lady Capulet tells her that Capulet has arranged for her to marry Paris next Thursday. Juliet refuses, and wonders at the hastiness in marrying Paris even before has been there to woo her, cleverly saying she will swear at Romeo rather than Paris.

Capulet enters with Nurse. He belittles her continued weeping. Lady Capulet tells him Juliet refuses to marry. Capulet accuses Juliet of "chopped logic" and angrily demands she consent to the marriage for Thursday or he will disown her [again with extraordinary haste and pressure]. He tells his wife he is glad to have only one such child. Nurse chides Capulet for so berating Juliet, but he silences her. Capulet speaks of how he has provided her with an ideal match, and mocks her attitude, saying she will be a beggar and die in the streets if she does not obey. Juliet asks if he has no pity for her grief, and begs her mother not to cast her out, but she is done with her. After they have left, Juliet is in despair and asks the Nurse why "heaven should practise stratagems/Upon so soft a subject as myself!" Nurse tries to talk her into the wisdom of the new match, describing Romeo as a dishrag compared to Paris, but Juliet will not hear of it. Juliet decides to go to FL "to make confession and to be absolved" and to herself resolves that she can no longer confide in the Nurse.

Rachid Amri
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