Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 5 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}


Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 5 Full Summary {Step by Step Guide}

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Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 5 Full Summary| Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 5 Summary

Juliet and Romeo have just had their wedding night in Juliet’s room. They hear a bird sing. Juliet asks Romeo if he has to leave. Because she does not want him to leave, she says they had heard the sound of a nightingale bird, not the song of a morning lark. She says it is not yet daytime.

Romeo knows the song had come from a morning lark and says so to Juliet. Also, he has seen the “envious streaks” of the sun that “lace the… clouds in… [the] east.” (Romeo thinks the streaks of sunlight are “envious” because they are ending his and Juliet’s happiness. Romeo is using personification – giving the human characteristic of envy or jealousy to sunlight.)

Romeo tells Juliet that “Night’s candles” are “burnt out.” He means the stars are no longer out because it is morning. He says the “jocund day” (happy day) is standing “tiptoe” on the “misty mountain tops.” Since the day is beginning, Romeo says he “must be gone and live or stay and die.”

Juliet says that the light does not mean it is the day. She says it is a “meteor” that the sun “exhales,” so Romeo will have a torchbearer to light his way on the road to Mantua. She says Romeo may stay a little longer. He does not need to go yet.

Romeo says he will be taken away. He will be killed. He is happy, though, to do whatever Juliet wants. He will say that the gray sky is not from morning light but is instead light from the eyebrow of Cynthia (the moon goddess).

He will say that it is not the lark sending its morning song up to heaven. Romeo says he has more desire to stay than will to go. Romeo says, “Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.” He calls Juliet his “soul” and asks her how she is. He says, “Let’s talk. It is not day.”

Of course, Juliet does not want Romeo to die, so she says it is the day. She tells Romeo that the lark’s morning song sounds bad. It is dividing them.

Juliet says that some say the lark and the toad traded eyes. (The beautiful lark has ugly eyes and the ugly toad has pretty eyes.) Juliet says that she wishes they had traded voices too because the lark’s song is pulling them Out of each other’s arms. The lark is telling hunters to come to hunt Romeo. Juliet tells Romeo to go – the light is growing brighter.

Romeo says that with more light, more darkness (more sadness) is coming. The Nurse comes in and tells Juliet that it is daytime and her mother is coming. Juliet says, “Then, window, let day in, and let life out.”


(Note: This is an example of irony because irony is when the opposite of what is expected happens. Light and day are usually good, but here they are bad because now Romeo Juliet’s “life” – must use his rope ladder and leave.)

Romeo asks Juliet for one last kiss, and then he goes to the rope ladder and climbs down.

As Romeo climbs down, Juliet talks to him. She calls him by all the names that he has been to her: “love,” “lord,” “husband,” and “friend.”

She says she wants to hear from him every hour of the day. Each minute he is gone will seem like many days. She will feel years older before she sees Romeo again.

Romeo says “Farewell” (good-bye). He says he will not miss any opportunity to send his greetings and love to her.

Juliet asks Romeo if he thinks they really will meet again. He says he does believe they will see each other again, and their “Woes” (troubles) will give them sweet conversations in the future.

Juliet says that her soul is telling her that their future will be bad. She feels like she is looking at him white-faced and in his tomb (grave).

Romeo says she looks pale too because sadness is drinking their blood and making them look colorless. He says, “Adieu” (good-bye) and leaves.

Juliet calls out to fortune or luck and asks for good luck to come to her and Romeo. She says Fortune is famous for changing her mind. Fortune should bring Romeo back to Juliet soon.

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Juliet hears her mother calling her. Juliet wonders if her mother has stayed up all night because she is so sad about Tybalt’s death or if she has gotten up early.

Lady Capulet comes in and asks why Juliet is crying. Juliet says she is not feeling well. Lady Capulet thinks Juliet is crying about Tybaltť’s death and says so. Lady Capulet says that Juliet’s tears cannot wash Tybalt from his grave or bring him back to life.

Lady Capulet tells Juliet to stop crying. She says showing some sadness (grief) shows love, but too many shows “want of wit” (stupidity).

Juliet says that her mother should let her cry because Juliet has had a “feeling loss.” (Juliet is talking about her loss of Romeo, but her mother thinks Juliet is sad about Tybalt.)

Lady Capulet hears Juliet talk about her “feeling loss” and says that Juliet is alive to feel, but Tybalt is dead and can feel nothing. Juliet says she feels the loss so much that she will cry forever. (Again, Lady Capulet talks about Tybalt, but Juliet talks about Romeo.)

Lady Capulet says that Juliet is crying some for Tybalt, but she is crying more because Romeo, the villain (bad man) who killed Tybalt
is still alive.

Juliet says to herself that Romeo is not a villain, but she tells her mother that God should pardon “forgive” Romeo because she does “with all [her] heart” even though no one has caused her more sadness than Romeo has.

Lady Capulet can only think that Juliet hates Romeo for killing Tybalt, so she thinks that Juliet is saying that only God could forgive Romeo. Lady Capulet says that Juliet is sad because Romeo, a murderer, is alive.

Juliet says that Romeo is “out of reach” of her hands, and she wishes that only she could make Romeo pay for Tybalt’s death. (She means that she wishes she could have Romeo back in her loving arms, but her mother thinks Juliet wants to hurt Romeo.)

Lady Capulet says they will have “vengeance” (the act of hurting someone because they have hurt you or someone you care about).

Lady Capulet will send a man to Mantua where Romeo now lives. She will have the man put a dram (a very small amount, 1/8th of an
ounce) of poison in a drink to kill Romeo.


Juliet says that she will never be happy until she sees Romeo. She waits for a second and adds the word “dead.” She says her heart feels dead for a “kinsman vexed.”

(She means she feels bad for Romeo who has been hurt by leaving her, but her mother thinks Juliet wants to kill Romeo who killed her cousin.)

Juliet says that if her mother can find someone to take poison to Romeo in Mantua, Juliet would like to “temper” (fix) it herself. She would make it so Romeo would sleep quietly.

Juliet says her heart hurts when she hears Romeo’s name but cannot go to him. She wants to take the love she had for her cousin and deliver it to Romeo’s body.

(She means she will turn the poison into something good and she will give her love, hugs, and kisses to Romeo.) The distance between Mantua Verona and Mantua is about 20 miles or about a day’s ride on a horse.

Lady Capulet thinks Juliet wants to make an even stronger poison to kill Romeo, and then she wants to hit him because he killed Tybalt. Lady Capulet says that if Juliet finds the poison, Lady Capulet will find a man to take it to Romeo.

Lady Capulet says she has “joyous tidings” (good news) for Juliet. Lady Capulet says that Juliet’s father loves and cares for her so much that he has planned a “day of joy” (great happiness) for Juliet.

Lady Capulet says she is sure that Juliet has not expected a day of joy like this one, and Lady Capulet, herself, had not looked for a day
like this.

Juliet asks her mother to quickly say what she is talking about. Her mother says that early Thursday morning, at Saint Peter’s Church, County Paris will marry Juliet.

Juliet says that she will not marry Paris. She will not marry a man that has not wooed her (spent time with her). Juliet says she does not understand why the marriage should take place in such a hurry.

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Juliet tells her mother to tell her father that Juliet will not marry yet and to tell him that when Juliet does marry, it will be to Romeo – a man her mother knows that she hates.

Juliet says that she will not marry Paris. She will not marry a man that has not wooed her (spent time with her). Juliet says she does not understand why the marriage should take place in such a hurry.

Juliet tells her mother to tell her father that Juliet will not marry yet and to tell him that when Juliet does marry, it will be to Romeo – a man her mother knows that she hates.

Juliet’s father and the Nurse come in. Her father sees that Juliet is still crying and, thinking she is crying about Tybalt, Capulet says that when the sun sets, there is dew (water from the sky that comes gently at night to rest on grass and leaves – not as strong as rain).

Capulet says Juliet’s tears are not dew, but a hard rain that seems to come fast as if they are coming from a “conduit” (a pipe)

Capulet asks Juliet why she is still showering tears. He says her “little body” has a ship, a sea, and a wind.

Capulet says that Juliet’s eyes are the sea, full of watery tears which come and go. Her body is the ship sailing in the salty water. Her sighs (her breaths) are the winds.

If Juliet does not calm down, says her father, her body will be a sinking ship that has had too much rain and wind.

Capulet asks his wife if she has told Juliet their decision – their command. Lady Capulet says that yes, she has told Juliet that she is to marry Paris, but Juliet says she will not do it.

Lady Capulet says, “I would the fool were married to her grave!” (She wishes her own daughter dead and in her grave!) Capulet cannot believe his daughter does not want the great gift of a wedding that he has arranged for her. He tells his wife, “Soft! Take me with you.” (Be quiet! Explain.)

Capulet asks his wife if it is true that Juliet is not thanking them and will not be proud (happy and honored) to be the wife of an important man like Paris.

Juliet says she is not proud that her father found Paris for her because she cannot be proud of something she hates, but she is thankful for a hateful gift that came from her father’s love for her.

Capulet is very angry. He says Juliet’s words are “chopped logic” (illogical and stupid). He says she cannot say “proud” and then “not proud,” thank you,” and “I thank you not.” Juliet will get ready for Thursday. If she does not go herself to Saint Peter’s, he will drag her there.

Capulet says Juliet is “green sickness” and “carrion” (dead meat.) He tells Juliet to get out. He says she is “baggage” (a useless and dishonorable woman) and has a tallow face (a face made of animal fat used for making cheap candles.)

Lady Capulet asks her husband if he is crazy. Juliet says that she is on her knees and wants him to listen to her say one thing.

Capulet is too angry to listen. Again, he calls Juliet “baggage.” He says Juliet will go to the church for her wedding on Thursday or she will never look him in the face again. He says, “Speak not. Reply not. Do not answer me.” He says his “fingers itch.” (He wants to hit her.)

Capulet tells his wife that he had never thought that God had done a good thing by giving them only one child, but now he thinks
that this one child is one too many.

Juliet is not a blessing. She is a curse. She is disgusting and worthless. The nurse says God should bless Juliet (protect her). She says Lord Capulet is wrong to talk to Juliet in such a bad way.

Lord Capulet is very angry. He calls the Nurse “Lady Wisdom,” but he says it sarcastically, so he is really calling her Lady Stupid. He tells her to “hold her tongue” (shut up).

The Nurse asks if she can say something. Capulet says the Nurse is a fool and she should be quiet. Lady Capulet says her husband is “too hot” (too angry).

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Lord Capulet says, “God’s bread!” (God damn it!) He says it makes him mad to think that he has spent hour after hour, day and night, with others and by himself trying to find Juliet a husband.

Lord Capulet says he found Juliet a husband from a noble family. Paris has a lot of money and land, is young, well-educated, and good-looking.

Juliet is a foolish, crying doll who looks at her good fortune and says, “I’ll not wed,” I am too young,” and “I pray you, pardon me.” Capulet says he will pardon Juliet. He will let her go.

She will not be allowed to live in his house if she does not get married. Capulet says he is not joking. Thursday is not far away. Juliet should seriously think about marrying Paris.

If she is his daughter, Capulet will give her to his friend in marriage. Capulet says if she does not marry Paris, she is not his daughter and can go without food and die in the streets.

Capulet tells Juliet that he promises on his soul that he will never take Juliet back or give her anything if she does not marry Paris. He tells
Juliet to believe him. He promises that he will never change his mind. Capulet leaves.

Juliet says, “O God!-O Nurse, how shall this be prevented?” She tells the Nurse that she already has a husband on earth and she has made her marriage vows (promises) for heaven (God) to hear.

Juliet cannot get those promises back unless Romeo dies. She asks the Nurse to give her comfort. She asks why heaven is playing mean tricks on her.

She asks again for the Nurse to give her comfort. The Nurse tells Juliet that Romeo is banished. He can never come back to say he is Juliet’s husband. Juliet should marry Paris.

The Nurse says that “Paris is a “lovely gentleman.” Romeo is a dishcloth compared to Paris. Paris has better eyes than an eagle has.

Juliet’s second marriage will be better than the first. The Nurse says that Juliet’s first marriage “is dead.” if Romeo were as good as Paris, he would be of no use to Juliet because Romeo does not live in Verona.

Juliet asks if the Nurse is speaking from her heart. The Nurse says she is speaking from her heart and soul. If she is not, then she should be cursed (punished).

Juliet does not like the Nurse’s ideas, so she says, “Amen.” (Amen means “so be it,” so Juliet wants the Nurse to be cursed for thinking Juliet should just pretend she is not married to Romeo and marry Paris.

The Nurse does not understand, so she asks, “What? Juliet lies and says the Nurse has given her comfort. She tells the Nurse to go to Lady Capulet to tell her that Juliet is sorry she has made her father angry, so she is going to Friar Laurence to tell him what she has done and to ask for forgiveness.

The Nurse thinks Juliet will marry Paris. She says she thinks Juliet is wise, and the Nurse leaves.

After the Nurse leaves, Juliet calls her “Ancient damnation!” (damned old lady!) She asks if the Nurse is eviler because she tells Juliet to not keep her marriage promises or for using her tongue to saying bad things about Romeo now that he is not in Verona when she had used that same tongue a thousand times to say nice things when he was in Verona.

Although the Nurse has left, Juliet says to her, “Go, counselor. Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.” (Juliet is saying goodbye to the woman who had been a second mother, friend, and advisor.  She will never trust her or tell her secrets again.)

Juliet says she will go to Friar Laurence and hear what he says. She says if he cannot help her, she has the power to kill herself. She leaves.

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