Romeo and Juliet: Act Five


At the beginning of Act 5 Romeo recounts a dream he had of Juliet and becomes hopeful and excited by the thought of her. Balthasar enters the scene and Romeo assumes he has arrived to deliver news of Juliet. To Romeo’s despair, Balthasar informs him that Juliet has gone to heaven. Romeo asks whether Balsathar has a letter from Friar Lawrence, he says he does not. Romeo swiftly decides that he will return to Verona, to visit Juliet’s tomb. He is so overtaken by grief that he visits an apothecary to attain a vial of poison, and promises to kill himself at her tomb.

Friar Lawrence asks Friar John whether he delivered the letter to Romeo outlining his plan to rescue Juliet from the tomb. Friar John responds saying he was unable to do so, as he was confined indoors, due to the outbreak of plague. Friar Lawrence begins to worry about Juliet, left in the tomb. He decides that he must take matters into his own hands and awake Juliet from the tomb himself, he sends another letter out to Romeo, explaining everything.

Romeo returns to Verona and arrives at Juliet’s tomb. Romeo tells Balthasar that he has come to retrieve a ring from Juliet’s tomb. Paris keeps a watchful eye on Juliet ’s tomb and recognizes Romeo as the one who killed Tybalt. He blames Romeo for Juliet’s grief which he believes led to her eventual death. Paris draws swords with Romeo and they fight. Romeo kills him and he asks him to lay his dying body next to Juliet’s. Romeo agrees and looks down at Juliet in the tomb looking so beautiful. Romeo speaks to Juliet and kisses her, before drinking the poison and dying.

Friar Lawrence enters the scene and is approached by Balthasar who tells him that Romeo’s body is in the tomb. Juliet then awakes to see Friar Lawrence and he informs her that both Paris and Romeo have died. Friar Lawrence command’s Juliet to flee however Juliet witnesses the scene before her. She kisses Romeo’s lips hoping to die by the poison, which has no effect. She takes Romeo’s dagger, saying “O happy dagger, This is thy sheath” and stabs herself.

Watchmen arrive and see Friar Lawrence and Balthasar at the bloody scene, followed by the Prince and the Capulets. Montague enters and informs everyone that Lady Montague has died of grief over Romeo’s exile. At the Prince of Verona requests, Friar Lawrence begins to explain to everyone the secret marriage between Romeo and Juliet. The prince denounces the Montagues and the Capulets, stating their feud is a result of the deaths of so many. The two families join together to announce they will end their feud and erect a statue of Romeo and Juliet together in gold. The scene ends with an epilogue by The Prince of Verona, with the famous lines “For never was a story of more woe/ Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”