Act 3 Scene 3 Of Romeo And Juliet by William Shakespeare
Act 3 Scene 3 is a perfect example of Romeo's despondent persona. The
events that take place in Friar Laurence's cell occur right after
Romeo's marriage to Juliet. Romeo's devastation by the news that he is
to be banished from Verona after murdering Juliet's cousin, Tybalt,
had led him to seek guidance from Friar Laurence. Although this may
seem understandable, Romeo is melodramatic and gives the impression
that he is an over-the-top teenager. He illustrates this when he says;
"Ha, banishment! Be merciful, say 'death'.
For exile hath more terror in his look".
Romeo claims that if he were to be banished from Verona, it would be
worse than death. He does not stop to try and find a solution but
condemns himself to a life of misery without Juliet. A typical hero
would now concoct a plan to save himself from being exiled. However,
Romeo is only a teenager and it shows in this scene. While the Friar
tries to console him, Romeo ignores his words and wallows in
self-pity. This is elucidated when, after Friar Laurence says that
"the world is broad and wide", Romeo replies;
"There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory, torture, hell itself".
Romeo fails to see that he is being shown mercy by the Prince who
banished him. He compares exile to torture and hell. Romeo compares
this to cutting "my (Romeo's) head off with a golden axe". To speak of
death as banishment is like cutting off a man's head with a golden axe
- it's still fatal. The Friar becomes angry with Romeo for his
melodramatic response to banishment and calls him a "fond (foolish),
mad man". The Friar tells Romeo that it is foolish for him to act so
over-the-top. However, Romeo compares the Prince's judgment to
"torture, and not mercy". Romeo, like a broken hearted teenager, tells
Friar Laurence that;
"Thou canst not speak of that thou canst not feel.
Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
... Then mightst thou speak"
Romeo is too emotional to heed the Friar's advice that he should calm
down. As Romeo threatens to kill himself, Friar Laurence tells him
"thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote the unreasonable fury of
The Friar tries to tell Romeo that it is inappropriate for a man to
'behave like a woman' by being so upset, and that Romeo's rage makes
him act like a beast. However, the Friar has not seen Romeo with
Juliet other than at their wedding. He doesn't know how much they love
each other, so Romeo's response to banishment may not be as
melodramatic as it may seem.
Through Romeo's actions in Act 3 Scene 3, it can be judged that this
is typical of Romeo to act in this way. From the start of the play,
Romeo shows his adolescent behaviour by the way he acts. In the first
act of the play,...