Romeo and Juliet | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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Act 4, Scene 2

Professor Regina Buccola of Roosevelt University provides in-depth summary and analysis of Act 4, Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet | Act 4, Scene 2 | Summary



Back at the Capulets' home, Lord Capulet directs his servants as they prepare for the wedding and party. Juliet enters "with merry look" and quickly kneels to beg her father's pardon. She adds, "Henceforward I am ever ruled by you." Then, as if he must act quickly to maintain his rule over Juliet, her father moves the wedding up a day. He is so restored that he intends to go tell Paris the news himself and then stay up all night to prepare for the hastened feast; he has the energy, suddenly, of youth. He concludes, "My heart is wondrous light/Since this same wayward girl is so reclaimed"—or since she has become his again by submitting once more to his authority.


Juliet restores the appearance of order with her expression of repentance for her now-finished disobedience. Her willingness to be ruled by her father is exactly what he needs to hear: his authority is intact. Of course, it is Juliet's disobedience toward her father as she prepares to execute the friar's plan that has given her the strength to pretend to obey him.

Here again Shakespeare emphasizes youth and age: Juliet's immature actions go against the instructions of her older father. But the friar is again helping the young person make a mistake.

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