Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 2 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}


Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 2 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 2 Full Summary| Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 2 Summary

Juliet is waiting for night to come so that Romeo can come up to her room for their wedding night. Juliet looks at the sun and tells the horses driven by Phaethon, the son of the sun god, to run quickly and take their chariot and the sun west to the home of his father – Phoebus.

She wants the sun to leave and the night to come quickly. Juliet says that the night will be a curtain closing around her, Romeo, and their love. The eyes of the runaway horses will close and Romeo will jump into her arms where he will be unheard and unseen.

Note: In an old myth, an old story, Phaeton could not control the horses. That is what Juliet is talking about.

Note: In Act 2, Scene 3, Friar Laurence used another name of the Sun-god Titan. Time is important in Romeo and Juliet, and our author, Shakespeare, reminds us that humans are not in control of time or events.

There are many references to fate, God, and ancient gods. In Act 3, Scene 2, Juliet is waiting for Romeo and dreaming of happiness. She does not know that Mercutio and Tybalt are dead.

She does not know that the Prince has ordered Romeo to leave Verona forever. She is not in control of events. She just waits for the son of the sun god and his horses to carry the sun away so that night can come.

Juliet says that when night comes she and Romeo will be like other lovers. They will be able to see how to make love by the light their love will make or if it is dark and their love is blind, it will be okay because the dark will cover everything.

Juliet asks again for the night to come. This time she asks for the night to be a matron, a married woman. Juliet wants to ask how to lose “a winning match” – her virginity which, now that she is married, she wants to lose. (Losing a woman’s virginity in marriage is winning a husband and a family.)


Juliet wants the matron of the night to cover Juliet’s face so that her “unmanned blood” in her cheeks – her blushes will be controlled like a falcon is controlled by a hood that covers its eyes so that it cannot see.

Juliet wants to make love quickly go from being “strange” to be “bold.” She wants to make love become as natural to her as her virginity was.

Juliet asks Romeo to come to her because he is the “day” in her “night.” (He is the happiness in her life.) Juliet says that when Romeo comes to her “on the wings of night,” he will be beautiful- “whiter than snow on a raven’s back.”

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Juliet calls out to the night and says, “Come, gentle night… Give me my Romeo.” Then she tells the night what she wants it to do for her when she dies.

She wants it to cut Romeo out into “little stars.” Then, she says, “the face of heaven” will be “so fine / That all the world will be in love with the night” and will not “worship” (honor) the too-bright sun.

Juliet says that she has bought “… the mansion of a love, / but not possessed it ” (She has married Romeo but has not had sex with him.)

She says that she has been sold but not enjoyed it. (She has given herself to Romeo, but he has not had sex with her.) Juliet says that the day is so long and boring that it is like the night before a festival and she is like a child waiting to wear new clothes.

Juliet is excited when the Nurse comes in. Juliet says that all voices, even the Nurse’s voice, sound beautiful when they say Romeo’s name. Juliet asks for the Nurse’s news.

She sees that the Nurse is carrying something, and she asks if the Nurse is carrying the rope ladder made of cords that Romeo had wanted.

The Nurse says that she does have the rope ladder. Juliet asks for the Nurse’s news and wants to know why the Nurse does not look happy.

The Nurse says “.. he’s dead, he’s dead, he’s dead!/ We are undone, lady, we are undone! Alack, the day! he’s gone, he’s killed, he’s dead!”

Juliet thinks the Nurse is talking about Romeo. She asks if “heaven” can be so evil that it would take Romeo away from her. The Nurse says that heaven is not that evil, but Romeo is. She calls out, “Oh Rome0, Romeo! Who would have thought it? Romeo!”

Juliet asks if the Nurse is a devil trying to hurt her. She asks the Nurse to tell her if Romeo has killed himself. She says that if the Nurse answers with a yes in any form, then Juliet will become more poisonous than the cockatrice in old stories. (The cockatrice was the part snake and part rooster. It could kill something by looking at it.)

She tells the Nurse to give her a short yes-or-no answer. Juliet says that a short word is all that is needed for Juliet to experience either
happiness or sadness.

The Nurse is very unhappy. She cannot answer Juliet. The Nurse had seen a body and she says that she saw the wound on the chest. She asks God to bless that wound.

The Nurse says the body was so sad, so white, but covered in blood. The Nurse said she fainted when she saw the body, but she does not say whose body she had seen.

Juliet now believes that Romeo is dead. She tells her heart to break, her eyes to go blind, and her body (“vile earth”) to go back to the earth in a grave. She says that she will never move again. She and Romeo can be buried together in one coffin.

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The Nurse calls out, “O Tybalt, Tybalt. The best friend I had!” The Nurse says Tybalt was a nice gentleman, and she wishes she had not lived to see him die.

Now Juliet thinks that both Romeo and Tybalt are dead. She cannot believe that her dear cousin and her dearer husband are both dead. If they are, then the trumpets should play, because it is the end of the world. No one should be alive if “those two are gone.”

The Nurse says that Tybalt is dead and Romeo has been sent away from Verona for killing him. Romeo can never return. Juliet says, “O God,” and asks if it is true that Romeo’s hand had taken Tybalt’s blood.

The Nurse says that sadly, it is true. Juliet is angry. She says that Romeo has a snake’s heart hidden by his beautiful “flowering face.”

Juliet is so angry about Tybalt’s death that she says that Romeo is a “dragon” with a “beautiful cave,” a beautiful evil leader, an evil angel, a raven with a dove’s feathers, and a lamb that kills like a wolf.

She says Romeo has an evil character in a beautiful body. She says Romeo is the opposite of what he seemed. He is a “damned saint, an honorable villain.”

She asks why nature had gone to hell to put an evil spirit in a good body. Was there ever such an evil book in a beautiful cover? Evil should not live in such a beautiful palace.

The Nurse tells Juliet that there is no trust, faith, or honesty in men. She says that all men lie. The Nurse calls out for a manservant to bring her some aqua vitae some brandy.

(The Nurse needs a strong alcoholic drink.) The Nurse says that sad events make her old. She says that shame (dishonor) should come to Romeo.

Juliet gets angry and tells the Nurse that her tongue should be covered with blisters for wishing that Romeo should experience shame. Juliet says that Romeo was not born to shame and that shame would not sit on Romeo’s brow because Romeo’s brow is a throne for the honor.

(Romeo could not be dishonorable.) Juliet says that she was a beast (a bad animal) for saying bad things about Romeo.

The Nurse asks if Juliet is going to say good things about the man who killed her cousin. Juliet asks if she should say bad things about her own husband.

She asks who will speak well about Romeo when she, his wife for only three hours, has said bad things about him. Juliet asks her absent husband why he behaved like a villain and killed her cousin.

She answers her own question and says Romeo probably killed her villain cousin because he was trying to kill her husband. Juliet starts to cry, but she tells her tears to go back to their home – a small river or spring.

The drops from that river belong to sadness, says Juliet, and she will not cry for sadness but instead will be happy because her husband, Romeo, is alive.

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Juliet says that since Romeo protected himself by killing Tybalt who would have killed him, she should feel only happiness. Why should she cry?

She wishes she could forget that something happened that was even worse than her cousin Tybalt’s death. Her husband Romeo must leave Verona forever. He has been banished.

Juliet says that the word “banished” is more terrible than the murder of ten thousand Tybalt’s. Tybalt’s death was bad news. It was enough.

If Juliet had also been told her parents had died as well as Tybalt, it would have been terrible, but not as terrible as hearing that Romeo has been banished.

It is normal for a child to learn of her parents’ deaths because parents usually die before their children do. For Juliet to hear that Tybalt is dead, followed by the words “Romeo is banished” is the same as saying that Juliet’s father, mother, Tybalt, Romeo, and Juliet herself are all dead.

The word “banished” has no end, no way for time to make the sadness less. The word “banished” kills Juliet’s hopes, dreams, and future. Juliet asks the Nurse where her mother and father are.

The Nurse tells Juliet that her parents are with Tybalt, crying over his body. She will take Juliet to them if Juliet wants to go there. Juliet asks if her parents are trying to wash away Tybalt’s wounds with their tears.

She says she will be crying about Romeo’s banishment after her parents’ tears are dry. Juliet tells the Nurse to pick up the cords, the ropes that make the rope ladder.

Juliet tells the cords that they will not be Romeo’s “highway” to her bed. Juliet tells the Nurse that she is going to her wedding bed, but death, not Romeo, will take her virginity.

The Nurse tells Juliet to go into her bedroom. The Nurse says that she knows where Romeo is. She tells Juliet, “Hark ye [listen],
your Romeo will be here at night.”

The Nurse says that she will go to Romeo. She knows that he is hiding in Friar Laurence’s cell (small room.) Juliet gives the Nurse a ring and tells her to give it to Romeo so that he, her “true knight,” can come to “take his last farewell.”

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