Romeo and Juliet, Act III

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Act III

Act III

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  • 1. Act III: Banishment Central Issue : romantic love versus family loyalty Theme : love as a brutal emotion, leading to defiance of family, religion, & society
  • 2. Act III: terms
    • Soliloquy : a speech made to the audience, when a character is alone on stage
    • Aside : a remark made to the audience, unheard by the other characters on stage
    • Purpose: reveal what a character is really like
  • 3. Act III, scene 1
    • Mercutio baits Tybalt who’s looking to duel Romeo.
    • Romeo arrives but will not duel Tybalt because he is now his kinsman through marriage.
      • “ I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise [understand] . . .” (3.1.67-68).
  • 4. Act III, scene 1
    • Tybalt is unaware of the marriage, so he rejects Romeo’s peace offering.
    • Mercutio steps in to duel Tybalt.
    • As Romeo tries to break up the fight, Tybalt murders Mercutio.
  • 5. Act III, scene 1
    • As he is dying, Mercurtio curses both the warring families, offering:
      • “ Ask for me tomorrow and you shall find me a grave man” (3.1.96-97).
  • 6. Act III, scene 1
    • Irate that he has allowed his love for Juliet to make him “effeminate,” Romeo savagely avenges Mercutio’s death.
    • Recognizing what he has done - murdered his wife’s cousin - Romeo blames his actions on fate:
      • “ I am fortune’s fool” (3.1.134).
        • (Remember his ominous dream?)
  • 7. Act III, scene 1
    • The Prince arrives on the bloody scene and banishes Romeo from Verona, a penalty much less severe than he decreed.
    • If Romeo is found in the city, he’ll be shot.
  • 8. Act III, scene 2
    • Juliet’s soliloquy :
      • She impatiently awaits Romeo, who will come to her in secret, so they may consummate their marriage.
      • At this point she is not aware of the murder Romeo committed.
  • 9. Act III, scene 2
    • Juliet’s nurse relates to her the sad news about Tybalt at the hands of Romeo.
    • At first Juliet is angry with Romeo, then elated that he is alive, and finally suicidal because she fears she cannot live without him.
  • 10. Act III, scene 2
    • The nurse assures her that Romeo, who is hiding in Friar Lawrence’s cell, will be with her tonight.
    • Juliet asks Nurse to take a ring to Romeo, as a symbol of her undying love for him.
      • Notice that Juliet sees no middle ground in her life. She lives with Romeo, or she will take her life.
  • 11. Act III, scene 3
    • Friar Lawrence explains to Romeo that the Prince has banished him from Verona for murdering Tybalt, an act of mercy.
    • Romeo views banishment as a punishment exceedingly worse than death.
  • 12. Act III, scene 3
    • Juliet’s nurse arrives at Friar’s cell.
    • Romeo is so sickened by his actions - murdering Tybalt and destroying his marriage - that he attempts suicide.
    • Friar scolds him for his rash, weak response, chiding him to stop whining and to act like a man.
  • 13. Act III, scene 3
      • Notice that Romeo, too, sees no middle ground in his life. He lives with Juliet, or he will take his life.
    • Friar reveals his plan to Romeo and Nurse:
      • Romeo will sneak to Juliet’s room tonight, consummate their marriage, then escape to Mantua, until their marriage can be made public.
    • Nurse gives Romeo the wedding ring from Juliet. His spirits lift.
  • 14. Act III, scene 4
    • Lord Capulet asks his wife to let Juliet know that she’ll be marrying Paris on Thursday morning. It’s currently Monday evening.
      • Ironic: On Sunday, Lord Capulet denied Paris’ request to marry Juliet because she was too young.
  • 15. Act III, scene 5
    • It is dawn. Romeo and Juliet have spent their first night together as a married couple.
    • Juliet is reluctant to let Romeo go to Mantua, teasing him that the dawn’s light is actually the light from a meteor shower lighting the night sky.
  • 16. Act III, scene 5
    • Romeo replies, “I must be gone and lives, or stay and die” (3.5.11).
    • As he departs Juliet has a premonition, “Methinks I see thee . . . as one dead in the bottom of a tomb” (3.5.55-56).
      • Ironically, this is last time the two will see each other alive.
  • 17. Act III, scene 5
    • As Romeo sneaks away, Lady Capulet enters Juliet’s room.
    • She brings news that Thursday Paris will make Juliet a joyful bride.
    • Juliet rejects this, instead telling her mother that if she marries, it will be Romeo, her enemy, not Paris, she will take for a husband.
  • 18. Act III, scene 5
    • Upon hearing this, Lord Capulet swears that if Juliet refuses this secure marriage to Paris:
      • “ . . . you [Juliet] shall not house with me . . . hang, beg, starve in the streets, for, by my soul, I’ll ne’er acknowledge thee” (3.5.190-195).
  • 19. Act III, scene 5
    • Juliet appeals to her mother for help, but Lady Capulet replies,
      • “Do as thou wilt, for I have done with thee” (3.5.205).
    • Next Juliet appeals to her Nurse, who advises her to take the secure option and marry Paris.
  • 20. Act III, scene 5
    • Desperate, Juliet pretends to go to Friar Lawrence to make her confession.
    • In her closing soliloquy Juliet reveals her thoughts:
      • She no longer trusts her nurse and will not confide in her again.
      • She’ll seek advise from Friar Lawrence.
      • If he can not help her, she can always take her life.
  • 21. Purpose
    • Shakespeare has moved Juliet from childhood into adulthood, both sexually and socially.
    • She’s exerting her independence from her nurse and her parents - central issue: romantic love versus family loyalty.
    • He reminds his audience of an Elizabethan woman’s dependency on a man for acceptance in society.
  • 22. Purpose
    • Once again, Shakespeare foreshadows the young couple’s suicides.
    • He continues to portray the destruction, pain and death Romeo and Juliet’s impulsive, passionate love has brought, leaving them little joy.
    • Finally, he has embroiled the teens in adult conflicts without the benefit of compassionate adults to guide them.