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Romeo & Juliet Act 5. 5.1 Summary Balthasar has rushed to tell Romeo that he has seen Juliet lying in her tomb; not knowing the truth. The Friar’s letters.

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Presentation on theme: "Romeo & Juliet Act 5. 5.1 Summary Balthasar has rushed to tell Romeo that he has seen Juliet lying in her tomb; not knowing the truth. The Friar’s letters."— Presentation transcript:

1 Romeo & Juliet Act 5

2 5.1 Summary Balthasar has rushed to tell Romeo that he has seen Juliet lying in her tomb; not knowing the truth. The Friar’s letters have not yet reached Balthesar for some reason. Romeo decides to rush to Verona and buys poison from an apothecary. This is another important turning point in the action of the play. There are many similarities in terms of tone and imagery to the marriage scene in the Friar’s cell.

3 Love & Passion – 5.1 When Romeo pays the apothecary he talks about gold/money as a “worse poison to men’s soul”. This can be seen as an ironic comment on the attitude of Juliet’s parents to true love; ‘the great rich Capulet’ and his callous wife who, like the Nurse, think that marriage is simply about sexual pleasures and monetary transaction.

4 Fate – 5.1 Romeo says that he had a prophetic dream in where Juliet found him dead. Romeo vows to go to Verona, saying that he will defy the stars (5.1.24), meaning that he defies fate to do any worse to him. This is dramatic irony as by ‘defying fate’ to do any worse, he is actually enabling fate to do so.

5 Imagery (technique, not a theme) Romeo echoes Death as Juliet’s lover by saying “I will lie with thee tonight.” (5.1.34) This has a sexual, as well as a literal meaning. It is also ominous as it means that he will also join her in death.

6 Summary – 5.2 Friar Laurence’s letter has failed to reach Romeo. Friar John – a friend of Friar Laurence’s – comes to tell him that because of an outbreak of plague in the city, it meant that he was unable to get the letter to Romeo because officials had closed the gates. The action speeds up again as Friar Laurence is thrown into despair with this news and decides to get Juliet from the tomb and hide her in his cell until another message can be sent to Romeo as she is due to awaken within three hours.

7 Summary – 5.3 Romeo arrives at the tomb. He meets Paris there, paying his respects (as he also loves her) and kills him. Believing that Juliet is dead, he takes the poison and dies. Juliet awakens, sees Romeo and commits suicide. It is fate and Romeo’s haste that has been his final undoing.

8 Summary – 5.3 Servants arrive and discover the bodies of Paris, Romeo and Juliet. They arrive Romeo’s servant Balthesar and Friar Laurence, pending Prince Escalus’s arrival. Lord and Lady Capulet enter, followed by the Prince. Montague arrives with news that his wife has died of grief over Romeo’s exile.  Compare this with Lady Capulet’s attitude to Tybalt’s death.

9 Summary – 5.3 To defend himself from suspicion, Friar Laurence makes a long, chorus-like speech near the end of the play in which he revels what has happened. Shakespeare uses this dramatic device to ensure that the audience understands and remembers the plot of the play. He shows the letter to Romeo to support his account and reveals events in Mantua.

10 It is fiery-tempered Capulet who asks for Montague’s hand in friendship. The feuding families vow to live in peace and say they will put up golden statues of Romeo and Juliet. Finally, the Prince arrives and emphasises the political point of the play: that society depends upon order and obedience to authority.

11 Imagery – 5.3 He says he is “savage-wild”, “fierce”, “inexorable” (unable to be persuaded) as wild animals “or the roaring sea” when he is about to descend into Juliet’s tomb. The images of the “hungry churchyard” (that he will tear his servant “joint by joint” and feed) and ‘inexorable’ fate appear throughout this scene. The mouth imagery of death is continued when Romeo descends into the “womb of death” (5.3.45) through it’s “detestable maw” ( – (maw = stomach; the vault) that has gorged itself on Juliet, “the dearest morsel of the earth.” He forces open the tomb’s “rotten jaws” (5.3.47) and says he will cram it with “more food” (5.3.48)

12 Imagery Romeo says that he will bury Paris alongside Juliet, but it will be in a ‘lantern’ (5.3.84) as opposed to a grave because Juliet’s beauty makes the tomb ‘full of light’ (5.3.86). The lovers’ passion has been described by the imagery throughout the play as being almost religious and heavenly. Romeo makes a lot of wordplay on ‘lightning’; as Juliet had previously worried their love would be like. Like lightning, the love of Romeo and Juliet has been a violent discharge of passion in the middle of a storm (the families’ conflict). It is a brilliant flash of illumination that has lept between heaven and earth and, in its short existance, has destroyed itself and all that it touched.

13 Imagery In Romeo’s final speech of the play he says that Juliet is still beautiful, even in death. He notes that her cheeks and lips are still crimson – he does not realise that this is because she is about to awaken. Instead, he thinks that “Death is amorous” ( ) and keeps her ever-beautiful to be his lover – both Death’s and Romeo’s (which are about to become the same).

14 Conflict – 5.3 After Romeo has found Juliet ‘dead’, he flies into wild rage. He tells his servant that he wants go into the tomb so that he can get a precious ring from her finger. He warns he will “Tear thee joint by joint and strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs” ( ) if the servant dares to follow him. In his fight with Paris, Romeo again echoes that he does not want to fight, like he did with Tybalt. He tells Paris “I love thee better than myself” (5.3.64). They fight at Paris is killed. This is the only time iint he play that Romeo and Paris actually meet.

15 Conflict – 5.3 Upon finding Romeo dead and defying the Friar to run away, she ends up stabbing herself and committing suicide – the traditional death of the noble warrior who is defeated but shall not be enslaved.

16 Fate – 5.3 The Friar arrives but is too late to save the lives of Romeo and Paris. He tries to convince Juliet to escape with him and underlines the role of fate in the play when he says “a greater power [fate] than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents.” ( ) He is unable to convince her, panics and runs away. Juliet is once again left wholly alone and, in another of the play’s symmetries, fate has forced Romeo to die with Paris as it forced Mercutio to die with Tybalt.

17 Love & Passion – 5.3 Love has proved stronger than hatred, even stronger than death. An important message (theme) of the play is that love is even stronger than the power of fate. In their death, love holds hope for the future and has changed the world as Verona as Capulet and Montague vow to never fight again.

18 Task What do you think was the real cause to the lovers’ death. Remember, as long as you back it up with reference to the text, you should have your own opinion. Was it because: The lovers were ‘star-crossed’ and fate had doomed them to die? Were they, like the Nurse’s daughter, Susan, ‘too good’ for this world? YOUR OPINION!


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