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Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare

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Act 2, scenes 2–3

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Act 2, scenes 2–3

Act 2, scenes 2–3

Act 2, scenes 2–3

Act 2, scenes 2–3

Friar Lawrence also returns the specter of Rosaline to the play. The friar cannot believe that Romeo’s love could turn so quickly from one person to another. Romeo’s response, that Juliet returns his love while Rosaline did not, hardly provides evidence that Romeo has matured. The question of Rosaline continues on into the next scene when Mercutio begins to ridicule Romeo’s lovelorn ways by mockingly comparing Rosaline to all the beauties of antiquity (it is interesting to note that one of these beauties, Thisbe, is found in a myth that very closely resembles the plot of Romeo and Juliet). The events of the play prove Romeo’s steadfast love for Juliet, but Romeo’s immature love for Rosaline, his love of love, is never quite erased. He remains too quick to follow the classic examples of love, up to and including his suicide.

In addition to developing the plot by which Romeo and Juliet will wed, Act 3, scene 3 offers a glimpse of Romeo among his friends. Romeo shows himself to be as proficient and bawdy a punner as Mercutio. This punning Romeo is what Mercutio believes to be the “true” Romeo, suddenly freed from the ludicrous melancholy of love: “Why, is not this better than groaning for love? / Now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo” (2.3.76-77). In the last scene, Juliet tried to battle the social world through the power of her private love; here Mercutio tries to assert the social language of male bravado and banter over the private introspection of love. Interestingly, both Juliet and Mercutio think they know the “real” Romeo. A conflict emerges; even friendship stands in opposition to Romeo’s love. Romeo must remain both the private lover and the public Montague and friend, and he must somehow find a way to navigate between the different claims that his two roles demand of him.

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ACT 2, SCENES 2–3 QUIZ

What is Friar Lawrence worried about when he first sees Romeo
That Romeo has slept with Rosaline.
That Romeo has run off with Juliet.
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Wrong!!!!!!!!

by ConorD98, February 18, 2013

In act 2 scene 5 Nurse appears to be tired and sore and tell Romeo the news NOT in act 2 scene 4 as sparknotes have written down.

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62 out of 180 people found this helpful

Thanks :)

by SingitforJesus, April 09, 2013

We are reading Romeo and Juliet in my class and it is so confusing because of the way they talked back then. Sparknotes has been a great help.

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20 out of 33 people found this helpful

Petrarch... Balcony Scene.

by marnie94, April 13, 2013

http://marnielangeroodiblog.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/romeo-and-juliet-is-the-balcony-scene-bull/

This essay (written in my first year at uni) focuses on the balcony scene but should help with thinking about the development of the characters and their relationship. If you're talking about Petrarchan conceit, this should help a lot.

Good luck!! Please follow.

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17 out of 35 people found this helpful

See all 87 readers' notes   →

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Romeo and Juliet (No Fear Shakespeare)

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