Analysing the Dramatic Significance of Act 3 Scene 5 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
The timeless tragedy of William Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet is based
upon two "star cross'd lovers", who are caught up in an ongoing feud
between their two families. These are the houses of Capulet, where
Juliet descends from, and the house of Montague, which Romeo belongs
At the beginning of Act 3 Scene 5, Romeo and Juliet are in Juliet's
bedroom, having just spent their first night together as man and wife.
They pretend for a short minute that it is still night and Juliet
tries to persuade Romeo to stay by asking him "wilt thou be gone? It
is not yet near day". Romeo and Juliet then engage in a debate after
the faint sound of a bird is heard, each of them disagreeing with the
other as Romeo thinks that he has heard a bird that sings in the
morning, the lark; but Juliet is adamant that she has heard a
nightingale which in contrast to the lark is symbolic of night.
In Act 3 Scene 5 William Shakespeare makes great use of metaphors in
his text, they are full of images and are greatly descriptive yet very
poetic. For example when Romeo has just spent his first night with his
beloved wife Juliet; he talks with reference to the stars when he says
"night's candle's burn out". Romeo then continues to talk of his and
Juliet's marriage as he then later remarks "envious streaks do lace
the surveying clouds in yonder east". Here Romeo seems to be talking
about some approaching storm clouds, but somehow these clouds become
symbolic of their marriage as the clouds where once white and pure but
now have become tainted because of a storm, the storm being the feud
between their two families.
Although sometimes hurtful and sad, there is also a hidden, but
obvious quality in the way that Romeo and Juliet bid farewell to each
other. Act 3 Scene 5 is of great significance as we know that this
will be the last time that Romeo and Juliet see each other alive.
Romeo and Juliet's night of passion is disrupted by the reality of
morning and the threat of the couple being disturbed and caught in bed
with each other, as Romeo is a Montague and Juliet a Capulet, and if
they where caught together, there would be terrible consequences,
furthermore this scene brings the phrase 'sleeping with the enemy' to
life. The imagery in this scene consists of night/day and light/dark.
Traditionally you associate night with dark and light with day. Romeo
and Juliet defy this convention as they can only see each other at
night, "O now be gone, more light and light it grows", "More light and
light, more dark and dark are woes", these quotes only give us a sense
that the couple can only see each other at night but also there is a
sense of foreboding and that one way or the other the couple will
never be allowed to...