What Is The Theme Of Language In Romeo And Juliet Act 3 Scene 5

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In act 3 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet , Juliet is a driving force of the narrative in her search for autonomy, overtly rebelling against her parents and deciding to give herself ‘the power to die’ (3.5.242), if she cannot be with Romeo. This scene draws together major themes of the play – maturation, sex, day and night, the use of language and class roles – demonstrating how they interact and are involved in the inevitable culmination of the narrative.

The first passage of this scene sees Romeo and Juliet parting the morning after their wedding night. The scene brings back the idea of day and night and its significance to the narrative, demonstrating the inevitability of the events to come. Juliet uses rhetoric in an attempt to persuade Romeo
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The lark is used symbolically to represent daytime; it is a bird active in the day. Morning typically represents danger for the couple, the ‘morning’s eye’ (3.5.19) bringing their relationship out of the secrecy of night and into the public eye. By repeated and desperate attempts to persuade, it can be said Juliet is attempting to change the world through language, but these attempts are futile and the sun will inevitably rise. Romeo gives a mature and stark reminder of this ‘I must be gone and live or stay and die’ (3.5. 11). Not only does the inevitability of the death appear on the surface of Juliet’s rhetoric, the more subtle aspects of language also play a part in the foreshadowing and the outcome of the narrative. However much Juliet attempts to change the world through her language, it will not work because the language she’s using is working against her; …show more content…
The catalyst that drives them further are Juliet’s attempts at autonomy away from the familial unit and the patriarchal values of her parents. The nurse, although a supposed extension of Juliet’s parents, plays an important role in Juliet’s rebellion. In this scene she warns Romeo and Juliet of the morning ‘the day is broke, be wary, look about’ and in past scenes has helped them in similar ways. The motherly figure of the nurse is juxtaposed with Juliet’s mother, presented as vengeful and a failure of parental love. She mocks Juliet for crying ‘evermore weeping […] much of grief shows still some want of wit’ (3.5.69-73). This places Juliet in a subordinated and powerless position where she is supposed to demonstrate emotional constraint lest she be seen as unintelligent or weak. However if Juliet is to succumb to this pressure perhaps she will become like her mother, who only shows anger ‘the traitor murderer lives […] we will have vengeance […] give him such unaccustomed dram’ (3.5.84-90). Anger is viewed as strong and productive, in contrast to Juliet’s tears, which in Lady Capulet’s opinion cannot be used in any productive or driven way. In spite of this, Juliet demonstrates a level of maturity by using subversive meanings in her speech. On the surface she is agreeing to her mother’s hateful emotions ‘never shall be satisfied/

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