Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet Act 1, scene 3 Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
Just before the masquerade, Lady Capulet asks the Nurse to find Juliet. Juliet enters. Lady Capulet dismisses the Nurse, then immediately calls her back. The Nurse then tells a story about Juliet as a baby, in which the Nurse's now dead husband implicated an unknowing Juliet in a sexual joke. Lady Capulet can't quiet the Nurse, but Juliet finally does.
Lady Capulet's fear of talking to Juliet without the Nurse present establishes her as an ineffectual mother. The Nurse's story implies that women, even as infants, are seen as sexual objects. Juliet's ability to quiet the Nurse shows her strength.
Themes
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Servants Theme Icon
Lady Capulet asks Juliet what she thinks about marriage. Juliet says she hasn't thought about it. Lady Capulet responds that at Juliet's age she had already given birth to Juliet. She reveals that Paris seeks to marry Juliet and says that if Juliet marries him she will "share all that he doth possess" (1.3.95).
Juliet's innocence is visible in her lack of thought about love. Lady Capulet sees marriage in material terms. That Lady Capulet married at age 13 shows societal standards.
Themes
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Juliet says she'll look at Paris to see if she could love him, but won't look any more deeply than her mother instructs.
Juliet uses word play to make resistance sound like obedience: she'll do what her mother asks, but not a jot more.
Themes
Love Theme Icon
Individuals vs. Society Theme Icon
Language and Word Play Theme Icon