Act 3 scene 1
Benvolio and Mercutio walk together. Benvolio says that it is too dangerous and they can encounter the gang of Capulet men. But Mercutio doesn’t care. Enters Tybalt demanding to talk to them, but Mercutio doesn’t take it seriously, as always, starting to mock Tybalt. Enraged, Tybalt is ready to fight – but Romeo enters. Tybalt immediately demands the duel. But Romeo, who is now his relative, says that he has a good reason to love Tybalt, not fight him. Mercutio angrily says that if Romeo is such a coward, he will fight Tybalt instead. The duel starts and, despite Romeo’s attempts to stop it, Mercutio is killed and dies cursing both Capulet and Montague with famous “A plague o’ both your houses”. Romeo, blaming himself for his death, accepts the challenge to a duel and kills Tybalt.
Benvolio, hearing that a crowd is coming, asks Romeo to run away. He stays to explain the situation, trying to persuade everyone that Romeo tried to stop the fight. Tybalt’s aunt demands Romeo’s life, but the Prince of Verona decides that exile is enough.
Act 3 scene 2
Juliet at home waits for night to come and her husband to return to her. Enters Nurse and tells her the story of Tybalt and Romeo. At first she is too worried and can’t find words, so Juliet decides that both are dead. She is ready to kill herself to reunite with her beloved. But finally the Nurse manages to tell the story from the beginning to the end. Juliet now laments Romeo’s exile, saying that she will become a widow maiden. She declares that Romeo’s exile is worse than ten thousand deaths of Tybalts. To calm her down the Nurse says that she knows where Romeo is hiding and she will do her best to arrange their wedding night. Juliet gives the Nurse her ring and asks to give it to Romeo as a sign of her love.
Act 3 scene 3
Romeo is hiding in the cell of Friar Lawrence, also lamenting his future without Juliet. Lawrence tries to counsel him, as always, but Romeo is too immersed in his grief. The Nurse comes and Romeo desperately asks her if Juliet now sees him as a murderer, threatening to stab himself to death if it is so. Both adults try to calm him down: Friar Lawrence by scolding him for being not mature and the Nurse by telling him that Juliet still loves him and giving him her ring. The ring indeed lifts Romeo’s spirit and he is ready to hear the voice of reason. Friar Lawrence offers a plan: Romeo will still come to Juliet and they will have a wedding night. Then, in the morning, he will flee to Mantua. Later Friar Lawrence and the Nurse will announce their wedding, after the consummation it will be impossible to cancel. The Prince will have no options except let them live together and the rivalry between the families will also finally end. Romeo agrees with the plan and starts preparing for his departure. Nurse leaves to tell the news to Juliet.
Act 3 scene 4
Juliet’s parents walk with Paris. Paris asks them permission to marry Juliet and her father replies that he is sure she will be happy to marry him – then corrects himself that, happy or not, she will obey her father’s order. Juliet’s mother adds that she will ask Juliet’s opinion in the morning. Paris is happy that he finally will marry his childhood crush. He and Juliet’s father decide to arrange the marriage for Wednesday (it’s Monday now) but then think that they need more time and make it Thursday.
Act 3 scene 5
Romeo is preparing to retreat after their wedding night. Juliet tries to convince him to stay a bit longer, saying that he mistook the morning birds for night ones and they still have plenty of time. But Romeo must disappear from Verona before the dawn or he will be executed. Still he agrees, saying that he will stay no matter what and if he shall die than so be it. Now Juliet herself says that he must go. Romeo climbs down the ladder and promises Juliet that he will see her soon. The girl replies that now he is pale like a dead man and it is bad omen for them. Romeo says that Juliet is now equally pale and it is the sorrow and worries that make them look like that, not some ill fate. He runs away and Juliet returns to her room.
Enters Lady Capulet. She tries to convince her daughter to marry Paris and expresses her desire to see Romeo’s death. Juliet answers fiercely, her vague words are full of hatred, but only those who know her secret can understand that it is hatred towards Paris, not Romeo. Juliet outright refuses to marry Paris and repeats her refusal even when her father enters and threats to disown her. The angry parents go out and the Nurse tries to persuade Juliet to obey. Devastated with her betrayal, Juliet runs to Friar Lawrence, saying to herself that if everyone is against her she still can take her own life.