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ACT IV, SCENE V

LINES 1-95

The time has come for the bride to prepare for her wedding. The Nurse, excited and talking a mile a minute, hurries to Juliet's bedroom to awaken her. If we didn't know the truth, the Nurse's happiness might be contagious. She hasn't the slightest reservation about preparing Juliet for a bigamous marriage.

She calls the girl by many pet names to wake her up. When there's no movement from Juliet, she calls her a "slugabed," but then jokingly says it's a good idea for Juliet to get some sleep now, because Paris surely has other plans for her nights.

When there's still no movement, she opens the curtains around the bed, and discovers that Juliet is "dead."

Lady Capulet, Lord Capulet, Count Paris and Friar Lawrence rush to Juliet's room, and each mourns her in his or her own way.

Lady Capulet shows how much Juliet really meant to her:

O me, o me, my child and only life! Revive, look up, or I will die with thee! (IV, v, 19-20)

Lord Capulet mourns for himself as well as his Juliet:

Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir; My daughter he hath wedded. I will die And leave him all. Life, living, all is Death's. (IV, v, 38-40)

Paris feels a terrible sense of loss:

Beguiled, divorced, wronged, spited, slain! Most detestable Death, by thee beguiled, By cruel, cruel thee quite overthrown. (IV, v, 55-57)

Friar Lawrence is in a difficult position. He knows she isn't dead, and that she will hopefully be returned to them. Since he can't comfort them with this, he comforts them with their religious beliefs. They should be happy for her:

For 'twas your heaven she should be advanced; And weep ye now, seeing she is advanced Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself? (IV, v, 73-75)

He shows some anger at Juliet's parents who have partly caused this trouble. The Capulets' day of joy becomes a day of mourning. Everything they had prepared for the wedding will be used instead for the funeral.



LINES 96-147

Following Juliet's tragic "death," we have a comparatively light passage. Peter, the Nurse's servant, finds the musicians who had come to play for the wedding. He asks them to play a song called "Heart's Ease" to comfort him because his heart is full of grief.

To cheer himself up, he teases the musicians with bad puns, and they answer with silly jokes. The scene is comic, but the underlying tone is tragic.

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