NURSE Peace, I have done. God mark thee to his grace,
Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed.
And I might live to see thee married once,
I have my wish.
LADY CAPULET Marry, that ‘marry’ is the very theme
I came to talk of. Tell me, my daughter Juliet,
How stands your dispositions to be married?
JULIET It is an honour that I dream not of.
NURSE An honour! were not I thine only nurse,
I would say thou hadst sucked wisdom from thy teat. (1.3.60-69)
The Nurse ends – or not quite – on her own terms, I have done, always coming back to her love for Juliet, but Lady Capulet also seizes the initiative, her punning on marry noticeably more flat-footed than her daughter’s playfulness with I / Ay; she also reclaims the upper hand by addressing my daughter Juliet, not Jule or pretty fool. A theme is a topic, such as might be set for an essay or a debate, and although Lady Capulet immediately personalises the question, How stands your dispositions to be married?, Juliet also responds at the level of formal abstraction, it’s something I haven’t really thought about, perhaps not even in my dreams or daydreams (although she is mostly being formal and formulaic). (Interestingly, honour is the word in the first quarto; in the other quartos and the folio, Juliet says hour, that is, marriage is not an event, a time in my life, that I imagine as being imminent, because I am too young.) The Nurse’s interjection is characteristically vivid in its physicality, but Lady Capulet’s mostly the one in control now.