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Juliet's Soliloquy

  • Date Submitted: 10/30/2011 08:04 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 55.4 
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* Act II Scene (ii) illustrates the intensity of Romeo and Juliet's love. This love contrasts with the artificial 'courtly love' played out by Romeo for Rosaline earlier in the play. This is the scene in which Juliet proposes marriage. Remember that Juliet was not yet even 14 years old. In those days it would have been very unusual for a woman to do the proposing but, as we learned when Paris talks to Lord Capulet, not all that unusual for teenagers to become married. Many marriages were arranged by parents and were based on suitability, not love - and, of course, this is the conflict of the play: Lord Capulet wants his daughter to marry Paris and the wedding between Juliet and Romeo remains a secret.
There is an element of danger in this scene and both parties are aware of the suddenness of their passion. Juliet makes several references to names and unlike Romeo, seems very aware of the precariousness of their situation. Both Juliet and Romeo have misgivings, That Juliet is being to unadvised and sudden whereas Romeo being petrarchan.

she that, 'It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden...' - he that, 'all this is but a dream'. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony to remind us of the events to come: 'Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye...'

Romeo stands in the shadows beneath Juliet's bedroom window. Juliet appears on the balcony and thinking she's alone, reveals in a soliloquy her love for Romeo. She despairs over the feud between the two families and the problems the feud presents. Romeo listens and when Juliet calls on him to "doff" his name, he steps from the darkness saying, "call me but love."

After the two exchange expressions of devotion, the Nurse calls Juliet from the balcony. Juliet leaves, but returns momentarily. They agree to marry. Juliet promises to send a messenger the next day so that Romeo can tell her what wedding arrangements he has made. The scene concludes as day breaks and Romeo leaves to seek the advice of Friar Laurence....

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