List iconRomeo and JulietList icon

Romeo and Juliet
Act 5, scene 1

Synopsis:

Contents

Characters in the Play

Entire Play

The prologue of Romeo and Juliet calls the title characters “star-crossed lovers”—and the stars do seem to conspire against these young lovers….

Prologue

Act 1, scene 1

A street fight breaks out between the Montagues and the Capulets, which is broken up by the ruler of Verona,…

Act 1, scene 2

In conversation with Capulet, Count Paris declares his wish to marry Juliet. Capulet invites him to a party that night….

Act 1, scene 3

Lady Capulet informs Juliet of Paris’s marriage proposal and praises him extravagantly. Juliet says that she has not even dreamed…

Act 1, scene 4

Romeo and Benvolio approach the Capulets’ party with their friend Mercutio and others, wearing the disguises customarily donned by “maskers.”…

Act 1, scene 5

Capulet welcomes the disguised Romeo and his friends. Romeo, watching the dance, is caught by the beauty of Juliet. Overhearing…

Act 2, chorus

Again the Chorus’s speech is in the form of a sonnet.

Act 2, scene 1

Romeo finds himself so in love with Juliet that he cannot leave her. He scales a wall and enters Capulet’s…

Act 2, scene 2

From Capulet’s garden Romeo overhears Juliet express her love for him. When he answers her, they acknowledge their love and…

Act 2, scene 3

Determined to marry Juliet, Romeo hurries to Friar Lawrence. The Friar agrees to marry them, expressing the hope that the…

Act 2, scene 4

Mercutio and Benvolio meet the newly enthusiastic Romeo in the street. Romeo defeats Mercutio in a battle of wits. The…

Act 2, scene 5

Juliet waits impatiently for the Nurse to return. Her impatience grows when the Nurse, having returned, is slow to deliver…

Act 2, scene 6

Juliet meets Romeo at Friar Lawrence’s cell. After expressing their mutual love, they exit with the Friar to be married.

Act 3, scene 1

Mercutio and Benvolio encounter Tybalt on the street. As soon as Romeo arrives, Tybalt tries to provoke him to fight….

Act 3, scene 2

Juliet longs for Romeo to come to her. The Nurse arrives with the news that Romeo has killed Tybalt and…

Act 3, scene 3

Friar Lawrence tells Romeo that his punishment for killing Tybalt is banishment, not death. Romeo responds that death is preferable…

Act 3, scene 4

Paris again approaches Capulet about marrying Juliet. Capulet, saying that Juliet will do as she is told, promises Paris that…

Act 3, scene 5

Romeo and Juliet separate at the first light of day. Almost immediately her mother comes to announce that Juliet must…

Act 4, scene 1

Paris is talking with Friar Lawrence about the coming wedding when Juliet arrives. After Paris leaves, she threatens suicide if…

Act 4, scene 2

Capulet energetically directs preparations for the wedding. When Juliet returns from Friar Lawrence and pretends to have learned obedience, Capulet…

Act 4, scene 3

Juliet sends the Nurse away for the night. After facing her terror at the prospect of awaking in her family’s…

Act 4, scene 4

The Capulets and the Nurse stay up all night to get ready for the wedding. Capulet, hearing Paris approach with…

Act 4, scene 5

The Nurse finds Juliet in the deathlike trance caused by the Friar’s potion and announces Juliet’s death. Juliet’s parents and…

Act 5, scene 1

Romeo’s man, Balthasar, arrives in Mantua with news of Juliet’s death. Romeo sends him to hire horses for their immediate…

Act 5, scene 2

Friar John enters, bringing with him the letter that he was to have delivered to Romeo. He tells why he…

Act 5, scene 3

Paris visits Juliet’s tomb and, when Romeo arrives, challenges him. Romeo and Paris fight and Paris is killed. Romeo, in…

Include links to:

Images
Glosses
Audio
Video
Essays
Quill icon
Scene 1
Enter Romeo.

ROMEO 
 If I may trust the flattering truth of sleep,
 My dreams presage some joyful news at hand.
 My bosom’s lord sits lightly in his throne,
 And all this day an unaccustomed spirit
5 Lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.
 I dreamt my lady came and found me dead
 (Strange dream that gives a dead man leave to
 think!)
 And breathed such life with kisses in my lips
10 That I revived and was an emperor.
 Ah me, how sweet is love itself possessed
 When but love’s shadows are so rich in joy!

Enter Romeo’s man Balthasar, in riding boots.

 News from Verona!—How now, Balthasar?
 Dost thou not bring me letters from the Friar?
15 How doth my lady? Is my father well?
 How doth my Juliet? That I ask again,
 For nothing can be ill if she be well.
BALTHASAR 
 Then she is well and nothing can be ill.
 Her body sleeps in Capels’ monument,
20 And her immortal part with angels lives.
211

213
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 5. SC. 1

 I saw her laid low in her kindred’s vault
 And presently took post to tell it you.
 O, pardon me for bringing these ill news,
 Since you did leave it for my office, sir.
ROMEO 
25 Is it e’en so?—Then I deny you, stars!—
 Thou knowest my lodging. Get me ink and paper,
 And hire post-horses. I will hence tonight.
BALTHASAR 
 I do beseech you, sir, have patience.
 Your looks are pale and wild and do import
30 Some misadventure.
ROMEO  Tush, thou art deceived.
 Leave me, and do the thing I bid thee do.
 Hast thou no letters to me from the Friar?
BALTHASAR 
 No, my good lord.
ROMEO 35 No matter. Get thee gone,
 And hire those horses. I’ll be with thee straight.
Balthasar exits.
 Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight.
 Let’s see for means. O mischief, thou art swift
 To enter in the thoughts of desperate men.
40 I do remember an apothecary
 (And hereabouts he dwells) which late I noted
 In tattered weeds, with overwhelming brows,
 Culling of simples. Meager were his looks.
 Sharp misery had worn him to the bones.
45 And in his needy shop a tortoise hung,
 An alligator stuffed, and other skins
 Of ill-shaped fishes; and about his shelves,
 A beggarly account of empty boxes,
 Green earthen pots, bladders, and musty seeds,
50 Remnants of packthread, and old cakes of roses
 Were thinly scattered to make up a show.
 Noting this penury, to myself I said

215
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 5. SC. 1

 “An if a man did need a poison now,
 Whose sale is present death in Mantua,
55 Here lives a caitiff wretch would sell it him.”
 O, this same thought did but forerun my need,
 And this same needy man must sell it me.
 As I remember, this should be the house.
 Being holiday, the beggar’s shop is shut.—
60 What ho, Apothecary!

Enter Apothecary.

APOTHECARY  Who calls so loud?
ROMEO 
 Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor.
He offers money.
 Hold, there is forty ducats. Let me have
 A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear
65 As will disperse itself through all the veins,
 That the life-weary taker may fall dead,
 And that the trunk may be discharged of breath
 As violently as hasty powder fired
 Doth hurry from the fatal cannon’s womb.
APOTHECARY 
70 Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua’s law
 Is death to any he that utters them.
ROMEO 
 Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
 And fearest to die? Famine is in thy cheeks,
 Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes,
75 Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back.
 The world is not thy friend, nor the world’s law.
 The world affords no law to make thee rich.
 Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
APOTHECARY 
 My poverty, but not my will, consents.
ROMEO 
80 I pay thy poverty and not thy will.

217
Romeo and Juliet
ACT 5. SC. 2

APOTHECARY, giving him the poison 
 Put this in any liquid thing you will
 And drink it off, and if you had the strength
 Of twenty men, it would dispatch you straight.
ROMEO, handing him the money 
 There is thy gold, worse poison to men’s souls,
85 Doing more murder in this loathsome world
 Than these poor compounds that thou mayst not
 sell.
 I sell thee poison; thou hast sold me none.
 Farewell, buy food, and get thyself in flesh.
Apothecary exits.
90 Come, cordial and not poison, go with me
 To Juliet’s grave, for there must I use thee.
He exits.