Romeo and Juliet – Act 5, Scene 1 – Scene Summary

Romeo and Juliet

Act 5, Scene 1

Scene Summary

Characters: Romeo, Balthasar, Apothecary

Location: The city of Mantua

Time: Wednesday Morning

Scene Events: The bad news of Juliet’s “death” travelled fast and in the same day Balthasar, Romeo’s servant comes from Verona to inform him of the catastrophe that has befallen his wife. Friar John was supposed to come to tell Romeo of Friar Lawrence’s plan of attack to get Juliet out to Mantua but he was stopped when leaving the city and Balthasar arrived before him. Romeo is safe and living in the city of Mantua but his life shows no meaning. After hearing Balthasar’s news, Romeo makes a plan to get to get back to Verona and take his life at Juliet’s grave because he cannot bear to live without her. Romeo remembers an old apothecary’s shop and bribes the man to sell him a poison that will kill him instantly. Selling such drugs that kill immediately is illegal but the apothecary is so poor that he can be bribed to sell the poison to Romeo and break the law. Romeo sends Balthasar to fetch horses so that they can leave for Verona that night ” Thou know’st my lodging. Get me ink and paper, And hire post horses. I will hence tonight”. Romeo hands over the money to the apothecary and leaves to prepare for the journey to Verona.

Quote:  Apothecary “Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua’s law Is death to any he that utters them”.


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