Act 3 Study Tool—Scene by Scene (Romeo and Juliet)

Scene 1 1. Benvolio and Mercutio are out walking in the street and Benvolio says the day is hot and tempers are high and they ought to go inside because if they run into any Capulets tempers will flare. Mercutio counters by saying that Benvolio is like a guy who who put down his sword in a tavern saying he hoped not to have to use it and then draw it after his second drink despite saying he doesn’t want to fight…in other words he is saying that he thinks Benvolio is protesting a little too much to be sincere. Benvolio responds with the equivalent of “no you are more of a hothead” and things go downhill in a joking manner.2. Tybalt comes in with a gang and says that Mercutio “consorts” with Romeo (pretty rude and Mercutio reacts as you would expect) and then Romeo himself enters and Tybalt tells Mercutio he doesn’t need him because the person he is looking for (Romeo) is here now.3. Tybalt starts calling Romeo out and can’t get the rise out of Romeo that he wants. In fact Romeo says that he (Romeo) has to love Tybalt now and isn’t reacting because of it (if only Tybalt would pay attention and ask “why” Romeo has to love him).4. Mercutio has finally had enough of Tybalt insulting Romeo and draws his sword, but, as he predicted, Tybalt is an excellent swordsman and mortally wounds Mercutio when Romeo is trying to break up the fight. Mercutio dies resulting in Romeo challenging and killing Tybalt and then fleeing.5. Scene 1 ends with the Prince arriving with the Capulet parents (Lady Capulet gets hysterical over her kinsman Tybalt). The Prince demands to know what happened and despite the fact that Tybalt started the whole mess AND Romeo tried to break it up, the Prince proclaims that Romeo won’t be killed right away (which is what Lady Capulet demands) but that Romeo is now exiled and if he doesn’t leave Verona immediately he will also be killed.
Scene 2 1. Scene 2 starts with Juliet in her bedroom waiting for the nurse to bring her the rope ladder so that Romeo can climb up from the orchard into Juliet’s bedroom.2. The Nurse comes in all hysterical and Juliet can’t figure out who is dead at first, but finally understands that Tybalt is dead and Romeo is the one who killed him.3. Juliet’s first reaction is to be uncertain whether Romeo is at fault or not and she really doesn’t know how to feel (lines 73-79 “Oh serpent heart…”).4. When Juliet finds out that Romeo is banished she says the she is going to die a virgin and that death will be her husband because she assumes she will never see Romeo again.5. In the end the nurse promises to bring Romeo to Juliet because she knows Romeo is hiding in Friar Laurence’s cell and Juliet gives her ring to the nurse to take to Romeo.
Scene 3 1. Friar Laurence comes into his cell where Romeo is hiding and tells Romeo that the Prince has banished Romeo and gets upset when Romeo isn’t willing to admit that this is better than death. Romeo basically tells Friar Laurence to imagine himself in Romeo’s shoes.2. The nurse knocks on the door and Friar Laurence tells him to stay hidden, but he just lays there like a lump and when the nurse comes in she says that both Romeo and Juliet are in the same miserable shape which causes Romeo to draw his dagger threatening to kill himself.3. Father Laurence tells Romeo to stop and get himself together and stop being such a baby.4. Father Laurence tells Romeo that he should go comfort Juliet and then escape to Mantua and while Romeo is out of town he (Friar Laurence) will find a way to announce that he married Romeo and Juliet and try to figure out how to get the Prince to give Romeo a pardon.5. Scene 3 ends with Romeo feeling more hopeful and Friar Laurence telling him to make sure he gets out of town before dawn.
Scene 4 1. Scene 4 opens with Paris visiting the Capulets and Lady Capulet telling him that Juliet won’t be down tonight.2. Despite this, Paris wants Lady Capulet to send his greetings to Juliet even though he realizes that this is not the right time to be wooing her.3. Lady Capulet says she will pass along Paris’ message and let him know how Juliet is feeling in the morning.4. Lord Capulet has a different idea, however, and tells his wife to go tell Juliet she is going to wed Paris on Wednesday then changes his mind to Thursday when he finds out that is Monday (he figures he can give her three days to get ready).5. Paris is all for it and says he wishes it were already Thursday and Lord Capulet tells Lady Capulet to prepare Juliet for her wedding day.
Scene 5 1. Scene 5 starts with Romeo and Juliet saying goodbye to each other as day breaks (after having spent the night together). The nurse enters and tells Romeo to get lost because Juliet’s mother is on her way and day is breaking. Juliet says: “Then, window, let day in, and let life out.” (More foreshadowing).2. Lady Capulet starts cursing Romeo and Juliet appears to be agreeing, but really her words have double meanings and her mother is just hearing what she wants to hear. Lady Capulet tells Juliet to stop grieving (after she herself was so hysterical the day before which is really hypocritical) and then tells her to be happy because she gets to marry Paris because her Dad is such a great matchmaker. Yay!3. Juliet says, nope, not going to marry Paris and her Mom says, okay, tell your Dad yourself what you just told me. When Juliet tells her Dad she won’t marry Paris her Dad blows a gasket and says she will marry Count Paris if he has to drag her to the church himself.4. Juliet tries to appeal to her mother who rejects her and when Juliet appeals to her nurse she tells her she ought to forget Romeo because he is banished and she ought to go ahead and marry Paris.5. Juliet says that if that is the way the nurse really feels then Juliet needs to go talk to Friar Laurence. The scene ends with Juliet saying she will either find out what Friar Laurence’s solution is or end herself.

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