William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: An Analysis

Eyoh Etim

Author’s Background

William Shakespeare lived between 1564 and 1616. He is reputed to be the greatest dramatist of all times, having written not less than 37 timeless and universal plays and 154 sonnets, among other works. Not much is known about Shakespeare’s youth, but it is likely that he attended Stratford Grammar School, a school located at his birthplace (Stratford-Upon-Avon), where he must have learnt Latin, then a language of literature, religion and administration. He did not, however, proceed to Cambridge or Oxford, the two prominent universities in England at the time. Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway in 1582 and was blessed with two daughters (Susanna and Judith) and a son (Hamnet) between 1583 and 1585. Shakespeare worked with a well-known theatre company, the Lord Chamberlin’s Men, which later became the King’s Men during the reign of James I who patronised the company. A famous theatre known as the Globe was built by the Chamberlin’s Men in 1599.

 Shakespeare’s plays have been translated into many languages and have also been adapted into films and stages across cultures. Shakespeare’s plays also cut across the subgenres of drama such as comedy, tragedy, tragicomedy, history plays and problem plays. Among his comedic plays are Twelfth Night, The Taming of the Shrew, The Two Gentlemen of Verona and A Mid-Summer Night’s Dreams. Among his tragic plays are Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and Romeo and Juliet, which is under study. The Merchant of Venice, Cymbeline and The Winter’s Tale are some of Shakespeare’s tragicomedies. Instances of Shakespeare’s history plays include Richard III and the three parts of Henry IV. The problem plays of Shakespeare include Measure for Measure, Troilus and Cressida and All’s Well that Ends Well. Shakespeare also popularised the English sonnet by writing 154 sonnets, a feat that explains the naming of the English sonnet form as Shakespearean sonnet. However, Shakespeare is most popular for his dramas, one of which is the subject of this class. Specifically, this lesson devoted to the study of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, written between 1594 and 1596 but first published in 1597.

The Cast of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Escalus – Prince of Verona

Paris – A young nobleman, kinsman to the Prince


Capulet – Heads of two houses at variance with each other

An Old Man – of the Capulet family

Romeo – Son to Montague

Mercutio – Kinsman to the Prince, and friend to Romeo.

Benvolio – Nephew to Montague, and friend to Romeo

Tybalt – Nephew to Lady Capulet

Friar Laurence – A Franciscan

Friar John – of the same order as Friar Laurence

Balthasar – Servant to Romeo


Gregory – Servants to Capulet

Peter – Servant to Juliet’s nurse

Abraham – Servant to Montague

An Apothecary

Three Musicians

Page to Paris; another Page; and Officer

Lady Montague – Wife to Montague

Lady Capulet – Wife to Capulet

Juliet – Daughter to Capulet

Nurse to Juliet

Citizens of Verona; Kinsfolk of both houses; Maskers, Guards, Watchmen, and Attendants. Chorus


William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet relates the ubiquitous tragic love story of the eponymous hero and heroine, who, due to the age-long feud between their families, the Montauges and the Capulets, could not consummate their love openly. Thus, they get married in secret through Friar Laurence and shortly afterwards, Romeo, as fate would have it, is unfortunate enough to be banished from Verona after killing Tybalt as a revenge for Tybalt’s killing of Mercutio, Romeo’s bosom friend. Romeo is exiled to Mantua where he hopes to wait for news about his pardon and eventual reunion with Juliet. But Juliet is being forced by her parents, Capulet and Lady Capulet, to marry Paris, a gentleman that she does not love. To avert this disastrous union, Juliet agrees to Friar Laurence’s advice that she should drink a portion that would make her unconscious and seemingly dead. Friar Laurence is to send word to Romeo about the plot that would eventually re-unite the lovers. Unfortunately, Friar John who is given the message to deliver to Romeo is held up in Verona and could deliver the message. Meanwhile, Romeo learns from Balthasar that Juliet is dead and buried. On receiving this sad piece of information, Romeo buys poison from the Apothecary in Mantua and returns to Verona at night. His intention is to die alongside Juliet. But he has to fight off Paris who has also gone to Juliet’s tomb to pay his respects. By the time Friar Laurence arrives, he meets the bodies of Paris, Romeo and Juliet. Eventually, everything is revealed when the Paris’ Page goes to call the Watchmen who arrest the Friar, Balthasar and all the other witnesses, who are then made to recount their knowledge of the tragic events by Prince Escalus in the presence of all the family members of the bereaved and citizens of Verona. The Heads of both Houses are reconciled by the inspiring love story of Romeo and Juliet.


The play is mostly set in Verona, with only a scene, Act V Sc. I, set in Mantua where Romeo stays during his banishment. Most of the events take place around the Capulet’s house and in the streets of Verona.


Among the themes captured in the play are love, friendship, death, hate, marriage and reconciliation.

Language and Style

Romeo and Juliet is written in Early Modern English, which is the type of English spoken in the England of the Renaissance period. It is the type of English used in King James Version of the Bible, meaning that Shakespeare lived and wrote at a time when King James I, who ordered the translation of the Bible, ruled England.

Specifically, Romeo and Juliet, like most of Shakespeare’s plays,is mostly written in blank verse using unrhymed iambic pentameter. This does not mean that there are no instances of rhyme in the play. The play also has two sonnets in it. For instance, the prologue of the play which is rendered by Chorus is a sonnet, same as the prologue in Act II. It should be noted that Shakespeare uses verse mostly when noble characters are speaking and on very serious issues. Prose is reserved for the lower class characters except when they are speaking on serious issues. Generally, Shakespeare’s style is grand or high.

The imagery described in the play results in such dramatic devices as contrast, metaphor, antithesis, simile and oxymoron, among other dominant tropes. Suspense is used either to heighten tension or create humour or both. Shakespeare also uses humour to lighten the tension in the work.

 A Scene-by-Scene Analysis of William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet


The prologue is rendered by Chorus and it is written in sonnet form. In the prologue, Chorus states the general subject matter and thematic concern of the play, the age-long feud between ‘two houses’ – the Montague and the Capulet – in Verona and how this feud is renewed in the present time with tragic consequences arising from the deadly love between two young ‘star-crost’ lovers from the two hateful houses. The play’s duration is likely to be two hours and Chorus urges the patience of the audience.

Act I Scene I

This scene is situated in a public place in Verona. Gregory and Sampson, servants of the house of Capulet are seen conversing on the road, engaging in puns by using words such as ‘coals/colliers, choler/collar’. Sampson says: ‘I strike quickly being moved’ and that ‘A dog of the house of Montague moves me’. Thus, right from the opening scene, the animosity between the two houses is depicted as even extending to their servants. Gregory even observes that ‘The quarrel is between our masters and us their men.’ The word ‘maidenheads’ as used by Sampson constitutes a pun; Sampson is deliberately sensual in word choice. For instance, he states that ‘women, being weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall’. This expression can be understood in two senses – the literal and the sensual (metaphoric or idiomatic). Thus, when he states that he will cut off heads of maids or their maidenheads, he is only being deliberately skillful with words, which also explains why he tells Gregory to ‘take it in what sense thou wilt.’ This is the same sense in which words like ‘stand’ and ‘piece of flesh’ should be understood.

Gregory presently asks Sampson to draw his sword (tool) as Abraham and Balthasar of the house of Montague approach. Sampson even urges Gregory to pick a quarrel with their enemies and that he is going to support him.  Gregory says that he will frown as he passes by to annoy them. Sampson says that he is going to bite his thumb at the Montagues – an obvious sign of disrespect to the Montagues which would be difficult to bear. Indeed, the thumb-biting incident soon degenerates into a brawl/fight. Benvolio, nephew to Montague and friend to Romeo, separates the fight. Then Tybalt, nephew to Lady Capulet, arrives to stoke the flame of the feud. Even though Benvolio means well, Tybalt is intent on misinterpreting Benvolio’s actions as he says: ‘What, drawn, and talk of peace!’ and goes on to express his hatred for all Montagues. There is a fight involving men from both sides until Citizens arrive to help stop the fight.

Soon even old Capulet arrives the scene and wants to be given a sword to join the fight, though he is dissuaded by Lady Capulet. Old Montague also gets to the scene and begins calling Capulet a villain. Lady Montague also urges her husband not to ‘seek a foe’. Then Prince Escalus and chides everyone, calling them ‘rebellious subjects’ and ‘enemies to peace’. He commands the men whom he calls ‘beasts’ to lay down their swords, stating that if they ever disturb the peace again, they will pay with their lives. He dismisses the men and then asks the heads of the two houses to meet him at Old Freetown for the matter to be judged.

Montague asks Benvolio the cause of the renewed conflict after the others have left. Benvolio reports to him what happened. Lady Montague then asks of Romeo. Benvolio reports that he had seen Romeo earlier in the day at a solitary location but that it did not appear as if Romeo wanted to talk to him. So he let him be. Montague confirms this to be a noted habit of Romeo in recent times, stating that Romeo has to be advised out of it before it causes him harm. Benvolio asks Montague, his uncle, if he knows the cause of Romeo’s isolation. Montague replies that he, alongside others, has tried to find out from him but in vain. At this point, Romeo approaches and Benvolio asks Montague and Lady Montague to step aside so that he could, in confidence, find out what is wrong with Romeo.

From their discussion, it is obvious that Romeo has lost all sense of time: ‘. . . sad hours seem so fast’, says Romeo. When Benvolio asks, ‘What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?’ Romeo replies, ‘Not having that which having makes them short’. It is also revealed that Romeo is in love. Romeo goes on to acknowledge the hate-induced carnage that surrounds them, referring to the fight that has just taken place and ending the rest of the speech in oxymoron: ‘. . . O loving hate! . . . O heavy lightness! Serious vanity . . . bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, still-waking sleep . . .’

Romeo tells Benvolio that ‘Love is a smoke raised with the fumes of sighs . . . .’ This exemplifies metaphor. At length, Romeo starts to leave Benvolio, bidding him farewell and stating that he is not himself: ‘This is not Romeo, he’s some other where.’ Romeo goes on to describe the woman in glowing terms, stating that she has ‘Dian’s wit; . . . chastity well arm’d, can’t be seduced by money (gold), she is rich in beauty. . .’ Benvolio asks Romeo to stop thinking about such a love that cannot be loved and look for other ladies to love. Romeo praises the Lady some more and tells Benvolio that he can’t teach him how to forget her.

Act I Scene II

This scene is set in a street in Verona. Capulet and Paris are discussing the penalties imposed on the two warring houses by the Prince. Paris then asks Capulet about his proposal to marry Juliet. Capulet replies that Juliet is too young to be married, as she is barely 14 years old. Paris should wait two more summers (years) in order to marry her. Paris says that there are other young girls who are younger than Juliet but are already mothers: ‘Younger than her are happy mothers made’. Capulet’s response is that those girls who marry too soon usually end up badly. He urges Paris to continue to woo Juliet in order to win her heart as his consent depends on Juliet’s. Paris should also take advantage of the annual feast that Capulet is organising that evening to woo Juliet. Presently, he gives a list of invited guests to a servant and asks Paris to come for the feast.

Romeo and Benvolio enter to continue their earlier conversation, with Benvolio telling Romeo that ‘. . . one fire burns out another’s burning’, meaning that if Romeo gets a new girl, he is likely to forget about the one that is currently tormenting him. Romeo’s response makes Benvolio wonder if Romeo is out of his mind. Romeo replies that he is not mad but that he is worse off than a prisoner. The servant bearing the list of invited guests meets them and asks if Romeo can read. Romeo reads the names on the list. His family is conspicuously omitted. The servant tells Romeo that if he is not of the house of Montague, he should come for the feast. Benvolio tells Romeo to try and attend the party so that he could see/meet Roseline whom he loves and compare her to the other beauties at the party that he [Benvolio] will show him. Romeo replies that no one can compare the beauty of his love. Thus, he is going to the party to look at his love, not to compare her with another.

Act I Scene III

This scene takes place in Capulet’s house. Lady Capulet is seen conversing with Nurse. Lady Capulet asks Nurse to call Juliet for her. Nurse does so and Juliet arrives shortly afterwards. Lamma’s tide is an event used in marking Juliet’s birthday. Nurse says that Juliet will turn 14 at Lamma’s tide which, according to Lady Capulet, is two weeks away. And Juliet is to marry at age 14.

‘Yea,’ quoth he, ‘dost thou fall upon thy face?/Thou wilt fall backwards when thou hast more wit.’ This statement by Nurse is a recollection of Juliet’s childhood. The story that informs the expression happened when Lady Capulet and the husband were away to Mantua and Juliet falls on her face while playing. Nurse’s husband asked the question and Juliet in her innocence answers, ‘Ay’, which means ‘yes’. Nurse finds it interesting that what was a jest eleven years ago, will come to pass now. All this is said in the presence of Juliet whom Nurse says was ‘the prettiest babe that e’re I nursed.’ She would be happy to see Juliet married. Lady Capulet then says that the subject of marriage is why she called Juliet and asks Juliet her disposition towards marriage. Juliet replies that it is an honour she doesn’t dream of. Her mother urges her to think of marriage; that she [Lady Capulet] was already a mother at Juliet’s age. She also informs Juliet that Paris wants to marry her. Nurse refers to Paris as a man of wax (quality husband material, perhaps). Lady Capulet calls him ‘valiant’ and ‘a flower’ that Verona’s summer has never had. She then asks Juliet if she can love him.

‘Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face/And find delight writ there with beauty’s pen . . .’ Lady Capulet uses these words to urge Juliet to study Paris when he comes to the feast that night. Juliet replies that she will ‘look to like, if looking liking move’. A servant then comes to announce that the feast is set and that everyone is needed in the hall. Everyone is set to go as Nurse tells Juliet: ‘Go, girl, seek happy nights to happy days.’

Act I Scene IV

This scene takes place in the street of Verona. Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio are depicted masked, as was the custom/fashion of party attendance at the time. ‘The date is out of such prolixity. . .’ Benvolio appears to be saying that the tradition of the feast has been relaxed over time, stating some of the normative highlights that would be missing. Note the pun in Romeo’s words: ‘Being but heavy, I will bear a light.’ He also puns on ‘soles/sole’ in response to Mercutio’s wish to make him dance at the feast. Romeo refuses, saying that he has a soul of lead. Mercutio asks him to borrow Cupid’s wings. Romeo says that he is too impelled with Cupid’s arrow to fly: ‘Under love’s heavy burden do I sink.’ He also states that love is too rough and rude to be considered a tender thing. Mercutio says that Romeo should be rough with love if love is rough. Then he puts on his mask. Benvolio says they should knock and go in. Romeo does not consider it wise to attend the feast because of the dream that he had the previous night. Mercutio says he dreamed also, of Queen Mab, the fairies’ midwife meeting with Romeo. Queen Mab is known for her mischief though benevolent as well. But Mercutio refers to dreams as ‘the children of an idle brain’, a metaphor. The scene ends with Romeo’s premonition of something bad beginning to happen ‘with this night’s revels’ that will eventually lead to his death: ‘. . . expire the term/of a despised life, closed in my breast/By some vile forfeit of untimely death.’ This is an instance of foreshadowing. He finally surrenders to fate, God or the supernatural – ‘He that hath the steerage of my course’.

Act I Scene V

This scene takes place in a hall in Capulet’s house. ‘We cannot be here and there too . . .’ This expression is made by Third Serving Man when he is told that he is needed in the great chamber. Soon afterwards the Capulets, their guests and maskers enter. Capulet welcomes the guests and calls for music and dance. Capulet and Second Capulet try to recall when last they danced masked. They debate whether it was 30 or 25 years ago. Romeo asks a servant about a lady dancing with a knight. The servant does not seem to know. Romeo praises the lady for her beauty: ‘Her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night/Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear.’ This constitutes simile.  There is also an invocation of and allusion to Africa and its culture and wealth, which the English and the other European nations nations scrambled for in the 16th century. However, the juxtaposition of beauty and night is a contrast that portends ill for the story.

Tybalt recognises Romeo’s voice as that of a Montague and asks a servant to bring his sword. Capulet asks if it is Romeo. He tells Tybalt to leave him alone as Romeo is well known for his virtues and gentlemanliness all through Verona. Tybalt fumes but Capulet puts his foot down. Romeo will not be harmed. It is apparent from the conversations that Capulet is more concerned about maintaining the integrity of his party at the moment than preserving Romeo’s life. Tybalt finally obeys but promises revenge afterwards.

Romeo is soon seen conversing with Juliet. They pun on touching and kissing. Romeo calls his hand unworthy and Juliet’s body a shrine. His lips are two blushing pilgrims. Waxing more poetic, he kisses her, stating that it has taken away the sin from his lips. ‘Then have my lips the sin that they have took.’ Juliet says this to Romeo as an invitation for him to kiss her again. ‘Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged?/Give me my sin again,’ Romeo says as he kisses Juliet a second time. Just then Nurse comes to call Juliet for Lady Capulet. Nurse tells Romeo that Juliet is such a prize. Romeo gets to know that Juliet is of the house of Capulet and he is dismayed: ‘. . . my life is my foe’s debt,’ he says.

The feast comes to an end. Juliet keeps asking Nurse of the identity of some gentlemen. It is obvious that she wants to know Romeo’s identity. When this proves true, she exclaims: ‘My only love springs from my only hate!’

Act II


There is another prologue said by Chorus. Like the first, this prologue is rendered in sonnet form. It muses on the now established love relationship between Romeo and Juliet. The opening lines constitute personification: ‘Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie/And young affection gapes to be his heir’. These lines signal the tragedy in the love relationship between the two star-crossed lovers, their separation and the eventual reunion through extreme circumstances like death.

Act II Scene I

This scene takes place at the Orchard of the Capulet’s. Romeo asks if he can go forward when his heart is there [where Juliet is]. Then he leaps over the orchard wall. He is followed by Benvolio and Mercutio. Both call on him but when he does not respond, they leave him to his own devices; for as Benvolio says, ‘. . . ‘tis in vain/To seek him here that means not to be found’.

When they have gone, Romeo emerges and says: ‘He jests at scars that never felt a wound,’ meaning that Mercutio and Benvolio could make light of his situation probably because they have never been in his shoes. Juliet soon appears above her window and he begins to address her. He calls her ‘light, sun, my lady, my love’ in soliloquy. Juliet also soliloquises on her love for Romeo, asking him to deny his name and his father to be her love or she would do the same if he agrees to be her love. Juliet wonders how Romeo managed to climb the wall and calls his attention to the danger he is in should he be found by her people. Romeo says that love’s light wings enabled him to scale the walls. It should be noted that this scene takes place at night as Romeo says: ‘I have night’s cloak to hide me from their sight,’ referring to the Capulets like Tybalt. ‘My bounty is as boundless as the sea/My love as deep; the more I give thee.’ Juliet makes this statement to Romeo as part of their love exchanges and vows. The expression is at once a simile and hyperbole.

Nurse calls Juliet. Juliet goes briefly and returns to tell Romeo that if his love is an honourable one and has marriage as its purpose, he should send her word the next day and she would go to him. ‘It is my soul that calls upon my name.’ Romeo makes this statement when Juliet returns to talk to him a third time from the window. Juliet’s servant is to meet with Romeo at nine O’clock the next morning.

Act II Scene II

This scene takes place at Friar Laurence’s cell. Friar Laurence is depicted soliloquising on the morning and how it smiles on the frowning night. He mentions a poisonous flower that is medicinal and compares it to life and the need for moderation. Of course, it is from this plant that he will prepare the potion that will induce death in Juliet towards the climax of the play. Rosaline is mentioned as Romeo’s former lover whom he no longer loves, as he tells the Friar: ‘I have forgot that name, and that name’s woe’ in response to the Friar’s question about where and with whom he had been the previous night. Romeo also tells Friar Laurence that he has been feasting with his enemy, referring both to his meeting with Juliet at the window orchard and at the party.

Eventually, Romeo confesses his love of Juliet to Friar Laurence and asks him to marry them that day. Friar Laurence is shocked that Romeo does not love Rosaline anymore: ‘. . . young men’s love . . . lies/Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes’ and that ‘Women may fall, when there’s no strength in men’. Finally, Friar Laurence agrees to Romeo’s request after severely chiding him. When Romeo tells the Friar that he is in haste to get married, the Friar tells him to go ‘Wisely and slowly; they stumble that run fast’.

Act II Scene III

This scene takes place in a street, where a conversation ensues between Benvolio and Mercutio. They are discussing Romeo’s absence from the house, which Mercutio thinks is caused by Rosaline. Benvolio then reports on the letter sent by Tybalt to the Capulets. There is likely going to be a challenge that Romeo must not run away from. Mercutio gives Tybalt credit as a good fighter: ‘He fights as you sing prick-song, keeps time, distance, and proportion . . . ,’ describing Tybalt’s ability in musical terms/imagery.

Romeo soon arrives the scene. He explains away his attitude the previous night and apologises for it. ‘Thy wit is a very bitter sweeting . . .’ Mercutio says to Romeo, attesting to the ambivalence that surrounds Romeo’s attitude in recent times. The conversation gradually transforms Romeo into his good old self as noted by Mercutio: ‘. . . now thou art sociable, now thou art Romeo. . .’

Nurse and her man, Peter, enter. Nurse asks Peter for her fan and Mercutio says it is to help hide her face. Nurse asks where she could find Romeo after chiding Mercutio for his apparent vulgarity. Nurse desires to talk with Romeo privately after Romeo has identified himself. Mercutio proves to be very boisterous as he and Benvolio depart to create a private setting for Romeo and Nurse. Nurse wonders at the attitude of Mercutio and Romeo defends him, saying that Mercutio is a gentleman but that he loves to hear himself talk. Nurse is very unhappy about Mercutio’s attitude. She also chides Peter for not doing anything to defend her against Mercutio’s verbal assault. Peter says that he doesn’t think that Nurse was abused. Besides, he doesn’t have his sword otherwise he would have drawn in her defence. Notice how Shakespeare infuses humour into this scene. Nurse continues to fume and uses the chance to warn Romeo against deceiving Juliet – ‘lead her into a fool’s paradise’ and ‘dealing double with her’. 

Romeo tells Nurse to inform Juliet to meet him at Friar Laurence’s cell that afternoon in order to be married. He gifts her money but she only accepts after Romeo insists. She then promises to deliver the message and see to it that Juliet is present at the Friar’s. Romeo also tells Nurse to stay by the Abbey-wall to meet his messenger within the hour who will give her ropes he hopes to use in climbing into the house later. ‘Two may keep counsel, putting one away. . .’ Nurse says this to Romeo on the trustworthiness of his messenger. ‘My man’s as true as steel,’ says Romeo in simile, attesting to the quality of his messenger.

Nurse informs Romeo of Paris’ rivalry but assures him that Juliet doesn’t like Paris. Nurse then leaves asking Peter to take her fan and walk before her.

Act II Scene IV

This scene takes place in Capulet’s Orchard. Juliet is impatient about Nurse’s return. She thinks that Nurse is, perhaps, too slow to be love’s herald [messenger], or she is too old and out of love to appreciate how she [Juliet] feels and why she must hurry. But then Nurse arrives with Peter. Peter is sent away to allow for privacy. ‘Though news be sad, yet tell them merrily,’ Juliet to Nurse. Nurse keeps Juliet in suspense and Juliet keeps urging her to tell her of the outcome of her mission. Nurse circumspectly praises Romeo physically and in terms of virtue. But she keeps avoiding the main part of the gist. Finally, Nurse asks if Juliet has been permitted to go for confession [shrift] that day. Juliet replies in the affirmative and Nurse says: ‘Then hie you hence to Friar Laurence’s cell;/There stays a husband to make thee a wife.’

Act II Scene V

This scene takes place at Friar Laurence’s cell. Friar Laurence and Romeo are conversing about the impending marriage when Juliet arrives. The two confess their love for each other and the Friar is set to wed them.  

Act III Scene I

This scene takes place at a public place in Verona. Mercutio and Benvolio are seen conversing. Benvolio asks Mercutio that they should go home in order to avoid a confrontation with the Capulets as the day is ‘hot’. Mercutio tells Benvolio that he looks like someone who is afraid only to become bold when trouble comes. The two continue to argue on their disposition towards quarrel until Tybalt and others arrive. The two groups take notice of one another and Tybalt is bent on speaking to the Montagues. Tybalt accuses Mercutio of consorting with Romeo. He is actually referring to the events that transpired at the Capulet party and his promise of revenge.

 As they are quarrelling, Romeo arrives the scene. It is ironically and euphemistically weird that Tybalt calls Romeo ‘my man.’ Tybalt goes on to call Romeo a villain. It is obvious that Romeo doesn’t want to pick a quarrel. He replies kindly to Tybalt, stating that he loves him and that he [Romeo] is not a villain. It is likely that Romeo has just been married to Juliet, which explains why he refuses to see Tybalt as an enemy. As Romeo turns to leave, Tybalt draws his sword. Romeo continues to pacify him with words of love to counter Tybalt’s hate. Mercutio thinks that Romeo’s reactions are cowardly and, therefore, dishonourable. So he draws his sword to face Tybalt. ‘Alla stoccata’, the expression used by Mercutio, is a battle cry which means ‘to the thrust’ or a thrust with a rapier or pointed weapon. Tybalt doesn’t want to face Mercutio but Mercutio challenges him into doing so. Romeo is all for peace as Tybalt and Mercutio fight. He urges Mercutio to put his weapon down and even asks Benvolio to separate the fight.

‘I am hurt;/. . . I am sped . . .’ This statement is made by Mercutio after being mortally wounded by Tybalt. It constitutes meiosis. Another instance of meiosis is Mercutio’s reply to Benvolio when the latter asks if he is hurt: ‘Ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, ‘tis enough.’ Mercutio also says: ‘. . . ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.’ The word ‘grave’ as used in the expression constitutes a pun. The expression is a response to Romeo’s statement which expresses the hope that Mercutio’s wound cannot be serious ‘much’. Mercutio curses the two houses as he is a kinsman to the Prince and belongs to neither of the warring houses. He reminds Romeo that Tybalt was only able to wound him by hiding through his arm in the course of Romeo’s intervention in the fight. He then asks to be taken to a shelter.

 ‘. . . They have made worms meat of me. . .’ This statement by Mercutio is a metaphor for a corpse. He already sees himself as dead and food for worms. Romeo is now obliged to avenge Mercutio in order to rescue his honour and reputation. ‘O sweet Juliet/Thy beauty hath made me effeminate.’ The expression ‘sweet Juliet’ is an instance of synaesthesia.

Shortly after, Benvolio returns to announce that Mercutio has passed on. Just then Tybalt returns to the scene. He had earlier run off after wounding Mercutio. Romeo challenges Tybalt and they fight. Romeo kills Tybalt. ‘O, I am fortune’s fool.’ Romeo makes this statement after killing Tybalt. Apart from constituting alliteration, this statement means that fate has turned Romeo into a joke or object of entertainment and that what has just happened is something he could not have escaped as it was designed by fate or supernatural forces. This is the point of complication or crisis in the plot. It is the play’s peripeteia. The conflict in the play has been well-managed up to this point.

Citizens soon arrive with officers. Officers ask of Tybalt and he is shown as a corpse. Prince Escalus, Old Montague, Capulet and others also come to the scene. Benvolio takes it upon himself to explain what happened, to the Prince. Lady Capulet weeps for Tybalt, calling him her cousin: ‘Prince, as thou art true,/For blood of ours shed blood of Montague.’ ‘Blood’ as used in the statement is metonymous with relation or relative and at the same time constitutes personification. From the statement, it is obvious that Lady Capulet is proud of Tybalt for murdering Mercutio, thinking that he is a Montague. Lady Capulet does not seem to believe Benvolio’s account of the tragic events. Prince exiles Romeo on pain of death if he is ever found in Verona. Prince also intends to heavily fine both houses to compensate for Mercutio’s death.

Act III Scene II                                     

This scene takes place in the Capulet’s orchard. Juliet is soliloquising on her love for Romeo. Phoebus is also known as Helios the god of the sun. Phaethon is the son of Helios, in Greek of mythology, killed by Zeus while trying to drive his father’s chariot across the sky. ‘If love be blind, it best agrees with night.’ The juxtaposition of ‘night’ and ‘sun’ in Juliet’s speech sustains the device of contrast in the play. ‘Come, night, come Romeo. . .’ In this statement, the coming of night is the coming of Romeo. This way, night can be seen as a vehicle that transports love. It should be noted then that this kind of love is the secretive or the forbidden kind which makes it necessary to be practised at night or in secret. The statement could even mean that Romeo is night himself.

‘Come, gentle night, – come, loving, black-brow’d night’. This statement constitutes at once personification, repetition and alliteration. ‘Night’ is repeated, night is also personified while alliteration can be seen in the repetition of the voiceless velar plosive /k/ in ‘come’ and the repetition of the voiced bilabial plosive /b/ in ‘black-brow’d’. Juliet goes on to say: ‘Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die,/Take him and cut him out in little stars.’ This is one of the statements that foreshadow Romeo’s death in the play. It also constitutes a motif which is very popular in literature. Heroes are believed to be stars who continue to shine long after their death. In other words, they are immortal just like the stars.

Nurse enters with a ladder of cords. Juliet asks her for news/information. Nurse announces that Romeo is dead. Though this is not literally true at this point in the play, this statement by Nurse could be taken as an omen, a poetic prophecy and another instance of foreshadowing as it can be safely said that, at that point in the play and given the circumstances, Romeo is metaphorically dead or finished. Notice how Romeo himself will later compare banishment with death or dying.

‘We are undone, lady, we are done.’ This expression by Nurse is an example of epanalepsis. Also note the punning on the words ‘eye’ and ‘I’, which are homophonic words in Juliet’s speech. ‘I saw the wound, I saw it with my eyes.’ This statement by Nurse, though tautological, is at once a repetend and an idiomatic expression that has literary significance or effect. It is prophetic as well as constituting an instance of foreshadowing. Romeo has not yet died at this point in the play but the way Nurse makes the statement so real, like a future occurrence announced by a seer. Another way of interpreting this is that the killing of Tybalt by Romeo implies that Romeo has also killed or destroyed himself.

Nurse mourns Tybalt as an indirect, creative or even a euphemistic way of reporting his death to Juliet. Juliet joins in mourning Tybalt alongside Romeo. ‘For who is living, if those two are gone?’ This is a rhetorical question by Juliet referring to Romeo and Tybalt, her cousin. Nurse finally informs Juliet of the truth: ‘Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banished. . .’ Notice that from the way Nurse phrases the statement, the same thing seems to apply to the two tragic characters. ‘Tybalt is gone’ is euphemistic but it at the same time implies or connotes Romeo’s situation, going by the words ‘gone/banished’.

‘Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical!’ This oxymoronic expression is made by Juliet and it refers to the perceived double character she believes Romeo possesses by loving her and yet also being the one to kill Tybalt. ‘O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face’ constitutes a metaphor which Juliet uses to refer to Romeo as a lover and a murderer. She also refers to him as ‘Dove-feathered raven’, which is at once a metaphor and oxymoron that speaks of the dual nature in hu/man beings generally. Nurse joins Juliet in condemning all men: ‘. . . no honesty in men. . .’ she says. The expression ‘aqua-vitae’ refers to an aqueous solution of alcohol typically prepared by distilling wine.

Juliet soon rebukes Nurse for saying shame to Romeo and instantly repents of having said bad words about him. Nurse asks if Juliet speaks well of the man that killed her cousin. Juliet asks if she should speak ill of her husband. The dilemma here is where one’s loyalty should shift in matters like this, husband or cousin? From Juliet’s statement, we also get to know that she has married Romeo that day. She calls herself ‘. . . thy three-hours wife’, meaning that it is three hours since they were married. She calls Tybalt ‘villain cousin’. She also argues that Tybalt would have killed her husband either way.

Romeo’s parents are also mourning Tybalt’s demise. ‘And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!’ Juliet is wishing to die by using cords brought in by Nurse. The cords were meant to bring in Romeo that night to be with Juliet after the marriage. That seems to be hopeless as far as Juliet is concerned. But Nurse assures her that she would find a way to get Romeo to visit her secretly that night. Juliet gives a ring to be gifted Romeo whom she calls ‘true Knight’. A ring is a symbol of love and lifetime commitment to love and lovers.

Act III Scene III

This scene takes place at Friar Laurence’s cell. Friar Laurence is conversing with Romeo. He tells Romeo: ‘. . . Thou art wedded to calamity,’ a statement that signals personification. ‘What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand. . .’ is Romeo’s expression that exemplifies personification and rhetorical question. Friar Laurence tells Romeo that he has been banished by the Prince. Romeo says that banishment is worse than death. ‘There is no world without Verona walls’ is a statement by Romeo that exemplifies alliteration. The mention of purgatory constitutes religious allusion as purgatory was/is the teaching of the Catholic Church.

‘And world’s exile is death’ exemplifies metaphor. Friar Laurence calls Romeo ungrateful because though the punishment for his crime is death, Prince Escalus has been lenient and so Romeo should be grateful. ‘Heaven is here/where Juliet lives.’ By this statement Romeo is referring to banishment as torture that is worse than hell, implying that Mantua is hell while Verona is heaven. The statement also implies that where one’s love is, is heaven and hell is to live apart from love. Friar Laurence in vain tries to comfort Romeo until Nurse arrives to knock at the door and she is mistaken for Officers who might have come to arrest Romeo for not leaving Verona immediately. Nurse asks of Romeo. She notes the similarity in the agonised postures of the two lovers: ‘even so lies she/Blubbering and weeping, weeping and blubbering.’ 

Romeo asks of Juliet. He is agonising over what Juliet might think of his action of murdering Tybalt. He even offers to stab himself, but Nurse snatches the dagger from him. ‘. . . Thy tears are womanish . . .’ is what Friar Laurence tells Romeo. Emotions were associated with women in the Renaissance/Elizabethan time. Friar Laurence launches into a long speech to chide and at the same time comfort Romeo. He encourages him to go and see Juliet before leaving that night to Mantua. Nurse is to go home and ensure that it is safe for Romeo to visit. Nurse gives ring to Romeo. It is from Juliet, of course. Romeo’s spirit is lifted and he is suddenly happy about everything at the moment. Friar Laurence warns him to time himself at Juliet’s: ‘. . . Either be gone before the watch be set/Or by break of day disguised from here.’  

Act III Scene IV

This scene takes place in Capulet’s house. Capulet and Paris are conversing. Capulet tells Paris of Tybalt’s death and how it has affected Juliet so that he [Paris] should understand why Juliet cannot come down to see him that night. Paris agrees that ‘These times of woe afford no time to woo . . .’ He bids both Lady Capulet and Old Capulet goodnight. Lady Capulet promises to ask Juliet for her decision the next day. Capulet suddenly changes his mind and decrees that both Paris and Juliet will be married on Thursday, four days away, that day being Monday. Capulet says that Juliet will be ruled by him, meaning that whatever decision he makes on the marriage must be accepted by her. He says the marriage ceremony will be low key considering Tybalt’s demise. Lady Capulet is to inform Juliet of the decision and the date. ‘We were born to die . . .’ Capulet says this to Paris as a way of philosophising on death and its inevitability in human life.

Act III Scene V

This scene takes place in Juliet’s chamber. Juliet and Romeo are conversing at the window. Juliet is trying to persuade Romeo to stay some more as, according to her, it is not yet dawn. But Romeo believes that it was the lark that has just announced the dawn, not the nightingale as Juliet would want him to believe.  ‘Cynthia’s brow’ refers to the moon, with Cynthia being the metonym for Artemis, the Greek goddess of the hunt. Juliet finally accepts that it is dawn when Romeo indirectly makes her realise the danger that that he is in should he be delayed longer than it is necessary.

Nurse enters to announce that Lady Capulet is on her way to Juliet’s room. Romeo leaves. ‘Art thou gone so? My lord, my love, my friend!/I must hear from thee everyday in the hour,/For in a minute there are many days:/O, by this count I shall be much in years/Ere I again behold my Romeo!’ This is Juliet’s farewell speech to Romeo, asking him to keep in touch. The speech raises the concept of the love calendar; the idea that lovers operate on a different time frame. Romeo promises not to miss any opportunity to communicate with her.

Lady Capulet enters. Juliet tells her mother that she is not well. Lady Capulet chides him for weeping too much over Tybalt’s death. Juliet plays along.  Lady Capulet calls Romeo a villain for killing Tybalt. Juliet plays along as well, making it seem like they are being united by their hatred of the Montagues. Lady Capulet even promises to send someone to go after Romeo in Mantua and poison him there. Juliet says she would be happy to see Romeo dead. This part of the scene is built on ironies, specifically, dramatic and verbal ironies. Juliet even urges her mother to find a man to bear the poison and she would provide the poison. The mother agrees.

Lady Capulet then goes on to inform Juliet of the proposed marriage with Paris on Thursday. Juliet argues on its hastiness and goes on to reveal her intention to marry Romeo, not Paris. Of course, she has already married Romeo, though the Mum is not aware and will not be aware until the play’s end. Her mother tells her to inform her father of her decision herself.

Capulet and Nurse enter. Lady Capulet reports that Juliet would not listen to her after Capulet asks her if she had informed her of their decision on the marriage. ‘Chop-logic’ is a word used to describe an argument that is characterised by equivocation or overly complex or specious argumentation.  ‘Thank me no thankings’, nor proud me no prouds. . .,’ Capulet says to Juliet, indicating that he is not prepared to listen to her excuses or explanations. Capulet threatens that Juliet must marry Paris or be forced to do so.

 Capulet calls Juliet names: ‘You tallow face, you green-sickness carrion.’  Juliet pleads on her knees. Juliet is an only child: ‘But now I see this one is one too much. . . .’ Capulet says to Lady Capulet. Capulet is so angry that he doesn’t want to listen to anybody, not even to good old Nurse. Capulet goes on to praise the good qualities of Paris, his wealth and princely background, wondering why Juliet would reject such a one. He threatens to disown her or send her out of the house if she does not yield to him on the matter.

Juliet appeals to her mother’s mercy, asking her to delay the marriage: ‘Or if you do not, make the bridal bed in that dim monument where Tybalt lies.’ This is another instance of foreshadowing. Lady Capulet says she is done, meaning she has nothing more to do or say in the matter. Juliet then appeals to Nurse. Nurse even asks Juliet to forget Romeo and marry Paris: ‘I think you are happy in the second match/for it excels the first. . . ,’ she tells Juliet. Nurse is being very practical but generally seen to be easily swayed depending on the circumstance.

Juliet asks Nurse to inform her parents that she had gone to Friar Laurence’s cell to make a confession for displeasing her parents. Juliet knows that she is now on her own and cannot even confide in Nurse anymore. She intends to seek Friar Laurence’s counsel or if that fails, she is ready to sacrifice her life. 

Act IV Scene I

This scene takes place at Friar Laurence’s cell. Paris has come to inform the Friar that his wedding with Juliet is on Thursday. ‘Venus smiles not in a house of tears.’ Paris says this to explain why he hasn’t wooed Juliet as she has been mourning Tybalt’s death. Venus is the goddess of love. Friar Laurence says that the date for the wedding is too close. Juliet soon arrives and Paris greets her as his wife, but Juliet parries the statement. This is the first time Paris and Juliet get to meet and talk since the play began. Their sentences are short and snappy, full of wit, humour and a conscious attempt, especially on the part of Juliet, to dodge or avoid direct replies. This shows that Juliet is not in love with Paris. Their conversation is too officious and distant to suggest intimacy or love.

Paris soon leaves and Juliet has time alone with the Friar. Friar Laurence tells Juliet that she is aware of the impending forced union between him and Paris. Juliet wants Friar Laurence to help her prevent the marriage or help to end her life with a knife. Friar Laurence proposes that Juliet should feign death to escape being married to County Paris. Juliet accepts and the Friar asks her to go home, change her sad countenance and accept to marry Paris. He gives her a vial meant to make her unconscious on Wednesday night so that everyone would think that she is dead. The death-like state would last for 42 hours. She would be taken to the tomb and Romeo would be sent for through letters. Once she wakes up, Romeo would run away with her to Mantua. Juliet wholeheartedly accepts the arrangement.

Act IV Scene II

This scene takes place in a hall in Capulet’s house. The Capulets are preparing for the wedding. Many guests are invited. Capulet asks for twenty cooks to be hired. Capulet and Nurse discuss Juliet’s shrift meeting with Friar Laurence and presently Juliet arrives, looking happy. Capulet asks where she has been and Juliet replies: ‘Where I have learned me to repent the sin/Of disobedient opposition/To you and your behest.’ Juliet asks for her father’s forgiveness and all seem well again. Capulet is very happy and even decides to visit Paris to furnish him with the good news.

Act IV Scene III

This scene takes place in Juliet’s chamber. Juliet expresses her admiration for the wedding dress but asks Nurse to leave her alone for the night as she has need to pray (orison). Lady Capulet enters and asks if Juliet needs help. Juliet replies that she has everything she needs and that she should be left alone for the night. Lady Capulet and Nurse take their leave and Juliet is all alone. Juliet’s soliloquy is full of foreboding and foreshadowing: ‘Farewell! – God knows when we shall meet again . . .’ She is paranoid, suicidal and fearful. ‘. . . Shall I not then be stifled in the vault,/To whose foul mouth no healthsome air breathes in . . .’ This statement signal both personification and rhetorical question. As she soliloquizes, she gradually loses consciousness, having drunk from the contents of the sleep-inducing vial. We know that she is losing consciousness and transiting into another realm when she talks of seeing Tybalt’s spirit hunting down Romeo. This implies that Tybalt’s hatred for Romeo endures beyond death. She then falls upon the bed.

Act IV Scene IV

The scene takes place in Capulet’s house. It is the next morning and everyone is preparing for the wedding that day. Capulet calls on everyone to wake up. The musical that County Paris promised is heard. Capulet calls Nurse and asks her to go and wake Juliet and prepare her as Paris has arrived.

Act IV Scene V

This scene takes place in Juliet’s chamber. Nurse keeps calling Juliet without any response: ‘What, not a word?’ She tries to wake her up. This is dramatic irony because she does not know that Juliet is already ‘dead’, neither does she know what is happening, but the audience is aware. She learns this shortly after: ‘Help, help! My lady’s dead!’ Again, this is dramatic irony because when she says that Juliet is dead, she means that she is really dead clinically. But the audience knows that Juliet is merely mimicking death. Nurse’s noise attracts Lady Capulet, who soon learns of the ‘tragedy’.

Capulet soon arrives the scene and admits that ‘Death lies on her like untimely frost/Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.’ This statement is at once a simile and metaphor. Juliet is compared to the sweetest flower in the field. Note also the alliteration in the repetition of the voiceless labiodental fricative sound /f/. Death is compared to ‘untimely frost’, meaning that Juliet dies in her prime.

Friar Laurence soon arrives with Paris and asks if Juliet is ready for church and Capulet replies: ‘Ready to go, but never to return.’  This is also an instance of dramatic irony because Friar Laurence knows what is going on even when he asks if Juliet is ready to go to church. Capulet tells Paris: ‘O son, the night before thy wedding day/Hath Death lain with thy wife.’ Death is personified in the expression. ‘Flower as she was, deflowered by him.’ Again, in this statement by Capulet, Juliet is compared to a flower that death has deflowered.  Lady Capulet sees the day as cursed. Repetition is used for emphasis: ‘O woe! O woeful, woeful, woeful day!’ This statement is made by Nurse and it constitutes an epizeuxis. Notice also how the exclamatory word ‘O’ and the exclamation signs intensify grief.

Friar Laurence uses Christian spiritual philosophy to console the bereaved and urges that Juliet be well dressed in her wedding attire and be borne to church. The conversation between Peter and First Musician constitutes comic relief in the play. It is full of puns, wits and humour: ‘I’ll re you, I’ll fa you; do you note me?’ Wit as a weapon is noted in Peter’s speech: ‘. . . I will dry beat you with an iron wit. . .’

Act V Scene I

This scene is set in a street in Mantua. Romeo is soliloquising on the dream he had the previous night – ‘I dreamed my lady came and found me dead. . .’, but somehow Romeo thinks that the dream would bring ‘some joyful news. . .’ because in the dream the lady’s kisses revived him and he became an emperor. Balthasar then enters. Romeo knows that Balthasar has brought news. Balthasar reports to Romeo that Juliet is dead and has been buried. Upon hearing this, Romeo asks Balthasar to get him ink and paper and to hire post horses because he will go to Verona that night. He also asks Balthasar if he has any letters from Friar Laurence and the latter says he does not.

Romeo is resolved to die alongside Juliet that night. Most of the actions in the play are built on dramatic irony. Romeo does not know that Juliet is not dead at that point. ‘Apothecary’ is a person who sells drugs. ‘Caitiff’ is a base or despicable person, a villain or a coward. Romeo intends to buy poison at the apothecary. Apothecary enters in response to Romeo’s calls. Romeo tells Apothecary that he needs a type of poison that can kill very fast. Romeo offers Apothecary 40 ducats (money), citing Apothecary’s poverty as a possible inducement to receive the money. Apothecary admits having the drug (poison) in his store but he hesitates selling it because of the existing Mantua laws and regulations on the sales of such drugs. Romeo again appeals to the man’s poverty as a reason for him to sell the drug: ‘The world is not thy friend, nor the world’s law/The world affords no law to make thee rich. . .’

Apothecary finally accepts Romeo’s offer, also citing his poverty as a reason for doing so, and not his will. ‘I pay thy poverty, not thy will,’ Romeo says to Apothecary. Apothecary gives Romeo instructions on how to use the drugs, laying emphasis on it efficacy: ‘. . . If you had the strength/ Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.’ Romeo rather prefers to see money [gold] as worse than the poison that he is buying from Apothecary: ‘There is thy gold; worse poison to men’s soul.’ According to Romeo, money is that which corrupts men.

Act V Scene II

This scene takes place in Verona at Friar Laurence’s cell. Friar Laurence and Friar John are seen conversing. It is apparent that Friar Laurence had sent Friar John to Mantua to deliver a letter to Romeo concerning recent developments with Juliet. But Friar John was delayed/ detained in Verona because of the threat from a perceived plague. In the end, he could not go to Mantua. He has come to return the letter to Friar Laurence and to apologise for his failure to deliver it.

‘Unhappy fortune!’ is an oxymoronic expression by Friar Laurence which signals the idea that things are beginning to collapse in the play. Friar Laurence asks Friar John to get him an iron crow. Friar Laurence intends to go to Juliet’s tomb to await her waking up within the next three hours. He also intends to write again to Romeo. ‘Poor living corse, closed in a dead man’s tomb.’ Friar Laurence is referring to Juliet as ‘living corse’ which is an example of oxymoron.

Act V Scene III

This scene takes place in a churchyard that houses the monuments [tombs] of the Capulets. Paris and his Page are seen conversing. It is obvious that he has come to pay his respects to Juliet as he is carrying flowers and sweet water. Paris asks Page to watch out for intruders and to whistle to alert him if anyone approaches. Paris strews Juliet’s grave with flowers. He vows to carry out the rites every night and to weep at her grave. It should be noted that Paris is actually doing what is expected of every Knight or a gentleman whose lady has died.

Paris’ Page [Boy] whistles, which is a sign that someone is approaching. Indeed, someone is approaching with a torch. Paris decides to hide. Romeo enters with his man Balthasar. Romeo collects a tool [mattock] and a wrenching iron from Balthasar and instructs him to deliver a letter to Friar Laurence in the morning. He also asks Balthasar not to disturb him at all. ‘The time and my intents are savage-wil’d’. This is part of Romeo’s warning to Balthasar if he dares to distract him. Balthasar promises to obey him and Romeo rewards him with a generous pension [enough money for him to live out his days on earth]. But of course, Balthasar is not going anywhere as he hides close by.

‘. . . womb of death’ as mentioned in Romeo’s speech is a metaphor for a grave or tomb. Romeo opens the tomb. He sees himself as food to feed the tomb in addition to Juliet whom he refers, in metaphoric terms, to as ‘the dearest morsel of the earth’. Paris thinks that Romeo has come to desecrate the body of Juliet and is determined to stop him. He calls out Romeo and commands him to stop his ‘unhallow’d toil’. ‘Unhallowed’ means ‘not blessed, not holy’. ‘Can vengeance be pursued further than death?’ This rhetorical question reinforces Paris’ mistaken belief that Romeo is seeking revenge against Juliet. Paris then says that Romeo must die.

Romeo replies that he is a desperate man and that Paris should let him be. Paris refuses. They fight. Paris is killed by Romeo. At this point, Page goes to call the watch [watchmen or security]. It should be noted that it is only after killing him that Romeo gets to know that the fellow is Paris. Romeo mourns Paris, stating that they both share in the same misfortune. He then buries Paris in the tomb. Romeo makes a long speech that ends with his drinking the poison. He dies.

Friar Laurence arrives shortly after. He meets Balthasar. Balthasar tells Friar Laurence that Romeo is the one in the tomb. Friar Laurence asks Balthasar to go with him to the tomb. Balthasar refuses, having been seriously warned and threatened by Romeo. Friar Laurence goes alone. Balthasar says he has dreamed of Romeo fighting and killing someone. Friar Laurence discovers blood and weapon in the vicinity of the tomb. He also discovers the bodies of Romeo and Paris. At that moment, Juliet wakes up. She asks Friar Laurence of Romeo. Friar Laurence asks her to leave the tomb with him as he has heard some noises. He intends to send Juliet to the nunnery. He urges Juliet to go with him as the watch would soon arrive. Friar Laurence leaves.

Juliet refuses to follow Friar Laurence. She soon finds the poisonous cup in Romeo’s hand. She kisses his lips with the hope of licking some of the poison and finds that Romeo’s lips are warm. This means that he is not long dead or that he might still be alive. By now the watchmen are close by. They are asking Page to direct them. Juliet snatches the dagger from Romeo, stabs herself and falls down. Then the watch and Page arrive.

First Watchman asks some of the men to search the surrounding and to bring whoever they find to him. He identifies the bodies of Paris, Romeo and Juliet and asks that the Capulet, the Montagues and the Prince should be informed. He also orders more searches to be conducted. The search returns with Balthasar. Friar Laurence is also found and brought. Prince Escalus with his attendants, the Capulets, and Citizens soon arrive. They all ask questions and demand answers.

First Watchman points to the three dead bodies: ‘. . . Juliet, dead before/warm, and new killed . . .’ This means that Juliet who was assumed to have died before has just been killed again. When Prince Escalus demands a search to be conducted, First Watchman points to Friar Laurence, his tomb-opening implements, and Balthasar, who have been apprehended. Capulet identifies the dagger that killed Juliet as belonging to the Montagues.

Old Montagues and more people arrive. Montague reports that he has just lost his wife, having grieved for Romeo’s banishment. He then asks, ‘What further woe conspires against my age?’ Friar Laurence offers to explain everything. He told them that Romeo was married to Juliet and that he was the one who married them. He also furnishes the gathering with all the other details to illuminate the matter. Balthasar equally offers his clarifications and hands over Romeo’s letter meant for his father to the Prince. Page [Paris’ Page] also offers his own explanations

Prince Escalus believes Romeo’s letter to be authentic. He chides the two hateful families: ‘See, what a scourge is laid upon your hate,/That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!/And I, for winking at your discords too/Have lost a brace of kinsmen . . .’

Capulet and Montague there and then reconcile: ‘O brother Montague, give me thy hand . . .’ Montague replies: ‘But I can give thee more. . .’ Montagues promises to erect a statue of Juliet to serve as a memory source/site. Prince Escalus ends the play with a word on reward and punishment: ‘For never was a story of more woe/Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.’  

Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

error: Content is protected !!