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Romeo and Juliet Act 5. Act V, Scene I - Summary  Romeo muses on a pleasant dream he has had in which Juliet brings him back to life with a kiss: ‘breathed.

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Presentation on theme: "Romeo and Juliet Act 5. Act V, Scene I - Summary  Romeo muses on a pleasant dream he has had in which Juliet brings him back to life with a kiss: ‘breathed."— Presentation transcript:

1 Romeo and Juliet Act 5

2 Act V, Scene I - Summary  Romeo muses on a pleasant dream he has had in which Juliet brings him back to life with a kiss: ‘breathed such life with kisses’  Romeo mistakenly believes this dream portends good news  Romeo’s servant, Balthasar, reports incorrectly that Juliet is dead and that ‘her body sleeps in Capel’s monument’  Romeo is utterly distraught, determines to take ‘fate’ into his own hands and take his life  He offers a poor apothecary a large amount of money to sell him poison illegally  The poison will enable Romeo to be reunited with Juliet in death

3 Techniques:  Contrast: The audience expect to find Romeo wallowing in despair due to his banishment, BUT he is in very good humour  Irony: He has dreamed that he died and Juliet’s kisses breathed life back into him, but as Mercutio says “Dreamers often lie.”  Foreshadowing: she will find him dead, and will kiss him, BUT won’t revive him!  Romeo’s soliloquy is full of dramatic irony - the dream anticipates the final scene when Juliet awakes to find Romeo dead and tries to kiss the poison from his lips

4 Fate  Tragedy is imminent when Balthasar arrives and delivers Romeo news that Juliet’s “body sleeps.”  Because the Friar’s message did not reach Romeo, this incorrect information causes Romeo’s decision to take his life  Romeo rages against the malevolent influence of fate and in bold defiance cries: ‘Then I defy you, stars!’  Romeo believes, absolutely, that he and Juliet have been blighted by ‘fate’, and now determines to take his own ‘fate’ into his own hands

5 Romeo and Development  This moment of defiance marks a change in Romeo’s character  From now on he is angry, cynical, and emboldened to defy his fate  Balthasar sees Romeo is in shock and notices a physical change his ‘looks are pale and wild and do import/some misadventure’  His anger and frustration drive him to try to take command over his own life - he decides that if he cannot be with Juliet in life, he will join her in death  His resolve to die echoes Juliet’s expression that her last resort is her sanctuary - they have the power to die  Once resolved he becomes calmer, more determined.. ‘Tush, thou art deceived/Leave me and do the thing I bid thee do.’

6 Death and Macabre  This scene is filled wit darkness and images of death:  Apothecary risks his life to sell dugs to Romeo:‘such mortal drugs I have. But Mantua’s law/Is death to any he that utters them.’  He is starving and poor - image of him is deathly and skeletal: he wears tattered clothes; his face is hung with “overwhelming brows,” and “sharp misery has worn him to his bones”  His shop is described as dusty and tomb-like containing deathly images – it is filled with the bodies of dead animals, “skins,” “bladders,” and “old cakes of roses.”  Romeo’s offers a meditation on what he feels really poisons ‘this loathsome world’ - money, and worldly things, do much more damage than actual poison  He is deeply depressed, cynical and despairing – seeing no hope or good in the world at all

7 Impetuous Behaviour  Haste drives one misfortune to collide with another pushing the action forward toward the tragic conclusion:  Romeo’s hasty reaction to Mercutio’s death causes his banishment  Capulet’s rash decision to move the wedding day precipitates Romeo missing the message from the Friar  Romeo’s haste to consume the poison causes him to die just prior to Juliet’s awakening  Haste throughout the play acts as a vehicle for fate to draw characters through a series of unfortunate coincidences that form the intricately intertwined plot of the tragedy itself

8 Tragedy – Romeo’s Decision  He will thwart the forces that are trying to keep them apart by choosing to die ‘I will lie with thee tonight’ but  It is this very attempt to ‘defy’ fate that causes the tragedy  In killing himself beside the sleeping Juliet, he directly triggers the double suicide of the lovers

9 At the end of this scene  Romeo firmly believes that Juliet is dead and has decided that he will join her  He has procured the means of ending his life  He has no way of finding out the truth about the Friar’s plan as he is now on his way back to Verona

10 Act V, Scene ii - Summary  In his cell, the Friar speaks with Friar John, and realises that Romeo has not received news of Juliet’s plan  Friar John as supposed to deliver the letter to Romeo but was quarantined because of an outbreak of the plague and unable to leave Verona  Friar Lawrence becomes upset, realising that Juliet will wake alone in the tomb  He then hurries to the Capulet tomb because it is nearly time for Juliet to wake  He calls for a crowbar, intending to retrieve her, keep her safe in his cell, and send news again to Mantua  He calls Juliet a ‘poor living corse, closed in a dead man’s tomb!’ (foreshadowing)

11 Fate  Fate has once again altered the course of events in the play  In this instance, fate thwarts the Friar’s plan by delaying his letter  The Friar cries, “Unhappy fortune!” echoing Romeo’s earlier cry that he became “fortune’s fool.”  The series of near misses in these two scenes suggest ‘fate’ at work or are they just bad luck or human error?  These two scenes are designed to convey a sense of unavoidable destiny descending on Romeo – who himself feels that he has been thwarted by fate – ‘Then I defy you, stars’

12 Act V, Scene iii - Summary  Paris is the scattering flowers on Juliet’s  He sees Romeo and is convinced that he has come to defile the Capulet tomb  He blames Romeo for Juliet’s death (believes she has died of grief for Tybalt)  Romeo breaks into the tomb claiming to retrieve his ring  Balthasar, worried about what Romeo will do, also hides  Paris confronts Romeo and they fight - Paris dies  He begs Romeo to place him in the tomb next to Juliet and Romeo grants his wish  Romeo is dazzled by Juliet’s beauty even in death  Without hesitation, he kisses her, drinks the poison, and dies at her side  The Friar arrives and discovers the dead bodies

13 Act V, Scene iii - Summary  Juliet then wakens and finds Romeo and Paris dead  The Friar flees, and Juliet is alone  She tries to drink poison from Romeo’s vial but finding it empty, fatally stabs herself with Romeo’s dagger  The Prince arrives, with the Capulets and Lord Montague  Lady Montague has died of grief at Romeo’s banishment.  The Friar recounts the events of the past week and offers his life in atonement  The Prince instead lays the blame for the deaths on Montague and Capulet for their longstanding quarrel  The Prince also blames himself for his leniency and fines Montague and Capulet severely  The two families are finally reconciled

14 Romeo and Aggression  As Romeo charges into the tomb he sheds much of the compassion which had previously dominated his character  His plans are “savage-wild,” and he vows to tear anyone who attempts to detract him “joint by joint” and to “strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs”  Romeo has separated himself from his family, from the feud, from Verona, and now from his humanity

15 Fate  Paris’ challenge to Romeo parallels Tybalt’s challenge in Act III, Scene i  In both instances, Romeo resists the invitation to fight, but fate conspires to leave him no choice  Romeo says to Paris, “By heaven I love thee better than myself” and responded similarly to Tybalt “But love thee better than thou canst devise.”  The Friar points out to Juliet that: ‘A greater power than we can contradict/Hath thwarted our intents’ – suggesting heavenly control over these events

16 Romeo’s Kindness  Paris challenges Romeo to fight, and Romeo resists, saying ‘I love thee better than myself’  He only fights when Paris pushes him towards this  Paris asks to be laid to rest with Juliet and Romeo agrees, remembering that Paris ‘should have married Juliet’ that day  This reveals his compassionate and generous nature

17 Light/ Dark  This last scene takes place in the dark of night  Romeo and Juliet’s relationship flourished at night, and each provided the other with light  In this final scene they find each other in darkness again  Romeo once again uses light imagery to describe Juliet as she acts as a source of light in the darkness of the tomb: “her beauty makes / This vault a feasting presence full of light.”

18 Dramatic Tension and Irony  Romeo is struck by the way Juliet’s beauty appears to defy death—she still looks alive: “Why art thou yet so fair? Shall I believe / That unsubstantial Death is so amorous?”  Dramatic tension is created by the audience’s awareness that she is still alive  In bleak irony, his attraction to her even in death emboldens him to take his own life just as she is about to awaken

19 The Friar  Discovers Romeo and Paris’ dead bodies  Sees that Juliet is stirring, and urges her to leave with him or live in a monastery!  Juliet will not leave, and the Friar, fearing he will be caught there, flees without her  His sense of responsibility for his actions and for Juliet is lacking

20 Juliet  Juliet tries to take poison from Romeo’s lips by kissing him but is not able to get enough poison, and so uses Romeo’s dagger  Offering to use her body as the dagger’s ‘sheath’, she stabs herself and dies beside him  Rather than demonstrating weakness or a distracted mindset, Juliet’s death indicates her dignity and strength of character  Juliet ignores the Friar’s warnings and deliberately follows through with her vow to be with Romeo in death

21 Love  Due to the strength of their love Romeo and Juliet have consistently defied societies rules  Their suicides are the final act of defiance – they will choose not to live rather than live in the world forced upon them by their parents  Their ‘violent ends’ transform that world, with the Prince, and their parents, recognising that such a supreme sacrifice must be honoured  They are fated – by ‘the stars’, by the violent world in which they live, by the violence and intensity of their love  They are the archetypes of true love – they will kill themselves to preserve their love

22 Blame  The Prince blames the Capulets and the Montagues, saying ‘See what a scourge is laid upon your hate’  He also blames himself for ‘winking at’ (ignoring) the feud for too long  The Friar also accepts blame for his actions  Fate is to blame for the control it has asserted over the lives of the lovers

23 Positive Resolution  The final scene reunites the lovers  We also see the reconciliation of the feuding families - Capulet and Montague shake hands, deep in sorrow over their losses  Montague offers to raise a statue of Juliet, in gold  Capulet realises that Romeo and Juliet have been ‘poor sacrifices of our enmity’ and offers his “daughter’s jointure”  Romeo and Juliet’s lives will be immortalized in gold as witness to their sacrifice and as a reminder to avoid conflict for future generations  By their deaths, Romeo and Juliet bring about the very world that would have allowed them to love each other and be happy - this is the central tragedy of the play

24 Negative Resolution  However, the point of reconciliation seems insubstantial since neither work out their differences and offer material recompense instead  Are these just empty gestures?  The tragic waste of the young lovers’ lives is highlighted as the older members of the feuding families stand amidst their dead bodies  This seems unnatural and unfair  It is pitiful that the love and joy which Romeo and Juliet felt could never last in this world but was destroyed

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