Thanks for a great class today; everyone did some good work today. A reminder that the Plot timeline assignment for Act 1 and 2 is due at the beginning of class. Also, please read Friar Lawrence’s speech on p. 76-77 (Act 3, Scene 3) and Juliet’s interaction with her father on p. 85-86 (Act 3, Scene 5).
Here’s a recap of what we covered in today’s class:
Act 2, Scene 6: The Wedding Scene
- What stands out to you about the language in this scene?
- “but come what sorrow can, It cannot countervail the exchange of joy that one short minute gives me in her sight” (line 3-5). He’s saying that regardless of what happens, nothing will outweigh the joy that comes from being with Juliet.
- “my true love is grown to such excess I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth” (line 33-34). Figuratively, Juliet is saying that she is so rich with love that she cannot count her wealth. Literally, she is saying that she is willing to sacrifice her monetary wealth for the wealth of love she receives with Romeo.
- Friar Lawrence
- “These violent delights have violent ends” (line 9). This could be foreshadowing but more broadly, he’s speaking about how sudden and disruptive their love has been.
- “The sweetest honey Is loathsome in his own deliciousness” (line 12-13). Even something that seems so sweet (i.e. their love) can have negative consequences.
Act 3, Scene 1: Another “Uncivil” Brawl
- There’s a lot of conflict in this scene. The whole play really pivots around this scene. Consider the following interactions:
- Mercutio and Tybalt: Why are they fighting? Tybalt shows up for one reason: to pick a fight with the Montagues. Mercutio has a quick temper, like Tybalt. If you front on Mercutio, he will not back down.
- Tybalt and Romeo: Why won’t Romeo fight Tybalt? Because at this time, marriages were all about family. Think back to the party in Act 1, Scene 5 when Tybalt wanted to fight Romeo. Lord Capulet forbade it and Tybalt had to obey his uncle. So Romeo won’t fight Tybalt because they’re now cousins but Tybalt doesn’t know about the marriage.
- Romeo and Mercutio: What is Mercutio’s response to Romeo refusing to fight Tybalt? “O calm, dishonourable, vile submission!” (line 70). Mercutio cannot believe that Romeo is behaving so cowardly and if Romeo won’t defend his own honour, Mercutio will do it for him.
Act 3, Scene 2: Juliet’s Speech
- Juliet has no idea that Tybalt has killed Mercutio and Romeo has killed Tybalt. She is waiting for Romeo, her new husband, to visit her and celebrate their marriage.
- Remember, there are no other characters on stage at this point. Nobody can hear Juliet speak, which means that she is speaking directly to us, the audience.
- Text references:
- Juliet is excited and anxious for the night to come. Romeo can only sneak into her house over the cover of darkness (lines 5-8) So Juliet is willing the mythical “fiery-footed steeds” who pull the sun across the sky to “gallop apace” and “bring in cloudy night immediately” (lines 1-4).
- “learn me how to lose a winning match” (line 12). Juliet shows her age here; she is referring to marriage and love as a casual game. In this time, who you married was hugely important. It determined your social standing and your wealth. She is also saying that she is willing to give up a “winning match” with Paris in favour of true love with Romeo.
- “… upon a raven’s back” (line 19). The raven is a symbol of death.
- “… when I shall die, take him and cut him out in little stars” (lines 21-22). Stars are representative of heaven. When Juliet dies, she wants Romeo to die with her.
- “he will make the face of heaven so fine That all the world will… pay no worship to the garish sun” (lines 23-25). Remember that Romeo refers to Juliet as the sun in Act 2, Scene 2. Juliet is saying that Romeo is so beautiful that nobody should pay attention to her.
- “O, I have bought the mansion of a love, But not possess’d it, and though I am sold, Not yet enjoy’d” (line 26). Marriage and women are referred to as a property; something to be bought and sold. So Juliet is being “sold” by her parents to Paris but he has not yet “enjoy’d” her. So Juliet has “bought” for herself, a “mansion of a love” with Romeo.
- “So tedious is this day As is the night before some festival To an impatient child that hath new robes And may not wear them” (lines 28-31). Juliet literally refers to her excitement as childish. She is excited the way a child would be excited for their birthday. Remember in Act 2, Scene 2, Romeo tells Juliet to “cast off” her robes which show her devotion to Diana, the goddess of virgins. Now Juliet has the “new robes” of a married woman and is excited to wear them. (Remember: these are not actual robes; she’s speaking figuratively)