We have changed our privacy policy. In addition, we use cookies on our website for various purposes. By continuing on our website, you consent to our use of cookies. You can learn about our practices by reading our privacy policy.
© 2016 Shmoop University, Inc. All rights reserved.

Romeo and Juliet Act 3, Scene 5 Summary

  • Romeo and Juliet wake after their first and (spoiler alert) only night together.
  • They don't want to say good-bye, but they know Romeo will be killed if he gets caught in Verona. (Not to mention in Juliet's bed.)
  • Before Juliet has time to fix her hair or anything, her mother comes in. They manage to have a conversation about "that villain Romeo" in which Lady Capulet misinterprets 99.9% of everything that Juliet says.
  • Lady Capulet announces her big, exciting news: in two days, Juliet will be marrying Paris.
  • No way, says Juliet, being a typical thirteen-year-old.
  • Lady Capulet throws up her hands and basically says "Wait 'til your father gets home."
  • When he does get home, he's all pleased with himself for arranging such a great marriage for her, so he's surprised when he rains on his parental-control parade.
  • Lord Capulet blows up. When verbally abusing Juliet doesn't work, he tries a different tactic. If she doesn't marry Paris, he says, he'll throw her out in the street; she can beg for food or starve.
  • After Lord Capulet storms out, Juliet turns to her mother for help. How could a mother turn her own daughter out of the house? Juliet begs her mother to find a way even to delay the marriage with Paris.
  • But Lady Capulet just storms out, too.
  • How about the Nurse?
  • Juliet makes a case for not abandoning the hubby: She's already married, so marrying Paris would be a sin against God, as well as an unthinkable betrayal of Romeo.
  • Maaaaaaybe—but marrying Paris would be a step up on the social ladder. He's better looking and a much better catch. Also, he's not a hated enemy, and um, there's no other option.
  • Unless you count starving on the street which, clearly, the Nurse does not.
  • Juliet cannot believe this is happening. Even the nurse isn't on her side anymore.
  • Juliet has only one ally left: Friar Laurence. If he can't help her, suicide might be her only option.

People who Shmooped this also Shmooped...