FRIAR I hear some noise, lady. Come from that nest
Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep.
A greater power than we can contradict
Hath thwarted our intents. Come, come away.
Thy husband in thy bosom there lies dead;
And Paris too. Come, I’ll dispose of thee
Among a sisterhood of holy nuns.
Stay not to question, for the Watch is coming.
Come go, good Juliet, I dare no longer stay. Exit (5.3.151-159)
The noise is, presumably, shouting to suggest that the Watch are approaching, summoned by Paris’s page, and so the Friar grows increasingly frantic. When does Juliet first see Romeo’s body? No matter what the precise moment is, she is stunned and frozen, as the Friar’s repeated come, come, come away, come, come go suggest: he’s coaxing her, growing panicked, frustrated, as one might with a child, or even a frightened animal – the suggestion for the first few lines at least is, don’t look, don’t look down, don’t notice Romeo’s body (and Paris, too), just come with me right now. So the Friar starts just by saying, this is a nasty place, you don’t want to stay here, and besides, someone’s coming. Then a concession: it’s gone wrong, everything’s gone wrong, fate, fortune, luck, whatever, has thwarted our intents, our best-laid plans. And then – she’s noticed Romeo, surely, is awake and alert enough to stare, disbelieving, horror-struck, at her husband, her lover, her Romeo lying dead beside her, even on her. The Friar is so shocked that all he can think of is to get her out of there – but he’s also frightened for himself – and he’s weak. (He needs to be weak for the sake of the plot, but still…) The suggestion of spiriting Juliet away to a convent is clearly a complete non-starter; Juliet is not the sort of woman who will readily be disposed of anywhere. And she’s not going anywhere. Perhaps she hasn’t even moved. She’s staying there, with Romeo.