Acts 3, 4 & 5 – Summaries, Questions and Quotes
In the heat of the day, Benvolio and Mercutio are in the street. Benvolio wants Mercutio to withdraw because the Capulets are about and looking for trouble. Mercutio refuses; if anything, he says, Benvolio is the trouble-maker. Tybalt and his companions approach them, looking for Romeo. Mercutio looks for a fight, while Benvolio urges caution. Romeo arrives. Tybalt insults Romeo in an attempt to provoke a fight, but Romeo responds calmly and will not take the challenge. Mercutio is incensed at this apparent cowardice and challenges Tybalt. They fight. Romeo tries to stop the fight and in the confusion Tybalt stabs Mercutio. As Tybalt and his companions leave, we realise that Mercutio is fatally wounded.
What pun does Mercutio employ as he explains the extent of his injuries to Romeo? Quote the lines:
He says ‘Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man’. Here, the main word is ‘grave’ because it has two meanings.
How does Romeo believe his marriage to Juliet has affected him?
He has married into the Capulet family and is therefore related to Tybalt, who is Juliet’s cousin. This means that he does not want to fight him because the circumstances around their relationship have changed.
How does he resolve to act when Tybalt returns? Quote a line. Romeo says ‘I do protest I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise.’ This shows that he thinks that he should be at peace with a fellow family member. What happens? Mercutio believes that the duel is a matter of honour, and decides that if Romeo won’t fight, then he will fight for him. Recklessly, he draws his sword and begins to fight with Tybalt, who he himself called ‘The Prince of Cats’ earlier for his skill at fighting. Romeo then tells Mercutio that he should stop because the Prince of Verona forbid fighting between the two families. However, Mercutio is stabbed and dies, so Romeo kills Tybalt.
What is the Prince’s decision when he hears Benvolio’s summary of events? Quote a key line. The Prince is angry that two people were killed, but decides that because Romeo was the person trying to stop the fight at first, banishes him, rather than killing him. He says ‘Immediately we do exile him hence.’
Key quotes from this scene relating to fate and stars include:
‘That gallant spirit hath aspired the clouds, which too untimely here did scorn the earth.’ This was said by Benvolio of Mercutio. Also ‘I am fortune’s fool’, said by Romeo after he killed Tybalt.
What bad news does the Nurse bring? Quote. The nurse comes and says to Juliet that Romeo has been banished from Verona. He says ‘Tybalt is gone, and Romeo banishèd. Romeo that killed him, he is banishèd.’
Summarise the rest of the scene:
The nurse tells Juliet that her cousin, Tybalt is dead, and her love, Romeo has been banished from Verona. Juliet is very sad and talks about her feelings. The nurse tries to comfort her. In the end, the nurse says that she knows where Romeo is, (Friar Lawrence’s cell) and Juliet gives her a ring to take to Romeo.
Friar Lawrence returns to his cell, where Romeo is hiding. He tells Romeo that he Prince’s sentence is banishment from Verona. Romeo responds that since he will no longer be able to be with Juliet, it might as well be a death sentence. As Romeo speaks, he becomes increasingly wild, and repeats that he might as well be dead. Romeo continues to reject Friar Lawrence’s advice.
Their conversation is interrupted by someone knocking on the door. The Nurse arrives to see Romeo collapsed on the floor in his grief. She tells him that Juliet is similarly grief-stricken. On hearing this, Romeo blames himself and tries to kill himself but they stop him. Friar Lawrence tells him to get control of himself: Juliet and he are still alive. Romeo must go to Munich and wait until the situation can be sorted out. The Nurse gives Romeo Juliet’s ring and they arrange that Romeo will spend that night with Juliet but depart for Mantua before it is light.
Capulet says to Paris and Lady Capulet that Juliet is sad about the loss of Tybalt, her cousin. Paris tells him that ‘These times of woe afford no time to woo.’ This means that he thinks that now is not the time to marry Juliet. They talk about when would be a good time, and in the end decide that Thursday is a good day.
It is almost light and Romeo is preparing to leave Juliet and travel to Mantua. Juliet tries to persuade him to stay, saying that it is still night and Romeo says he will accept her judgement and risk death. Juliet realises he is right and tells him he must go. The Nurse warns them that Lady Capulet is coming and Romeo and Juliet say farewell.
Key quote 1 with explanation.
‘O God, I have an ill-divining soul!
Methinks I see thee, now thou art below.’
This is Juliet, saying that she has a bad feeling about something that will happen in the future. She goes on to say that she sees Romeo in a tomb.
Key quote 2 with explanation.
‘O Fortune, Fortune! All men call thee fickle.’
Here, Juliet is saying that fortune changes quickly and things that are looking good can change to being bad in a split second.
Why has Capulet hastened Juliet’s marriage to Paris? Quote the line.
Because he thinks that Juliet is sad about Tybalt’s death, and that being with another person might calm her and make her feel happy. Paris tells Friar Lawrence ‘And in his (Capulet’s) wisdom hastes our marriage to stop the inundation of her tears.’
When Juliet is alone with the Friar, what does she threaten to do and why?
She threatens to stab herself with a knife. ‘…with this knife I’ll help it presently! This is because she is sad that Romeo has been banished and does not want to marry Paris.
What does he suggest as a way out of her problems? Explain what she has to do. He tells her to take a potion that will put her into a deep sleep for several days. This will convince her parents that she is dead. She will be then put into a tomb and Romeo will find her.
It will also help her avoid marrying Paris.
Capulet is busying himself making preparations for the wedding; sending out invitations and hiring cooks. Juliet returns from her visit to Friar Lawrence and immediately asks her father to forgive her for her earlier behaviour.
What fears does Juliet express in her long soliloquy?
1) ‘What if this mixture do not work at all?
Shall I be married then tomorrow morning?’
She thinks that mixture may not work at all, and the marriage will go ahead as planned.
2) ‘What if it be a poison, which the Friar
Subtly hath ministered to have me dead?’
This means she thinks the Friar may be poisoning her because he will be dishonored when she marries Paris. This is because she is already married to Romeo.
3) ‘How if, when I am laid into the tomb,
I wake before the time that Romeo
Come to redeem me?’
She thinks that she may wake up before Romeo comes and suffocate because of a lack of air in the chamber.
4) ‘Or if I live, is it not very like
The horrible conceit of death and night.’
I think this means that if she wakes up early, she will be scared because of the darkness and scary things in the chamber, such as Tybalt’s dead body.
5) ‘Alack, alack, is it not like that I,
So early waking, what with loathsome smells,
And shrieks like mandrakes’ torn out of the earth.’
This means that she is scared of all the wierd things in the chamber, and that she might wake up early and find/see them.
She imagines five different scenarios. Four of them are introduced by a phrase containing the word “if” and the other begins with the words, “it is not like t.
What does she do at the end of this scene?
She drinks that potion, then falls into bed. She says ‘Romeo, I come. This I do drink to thee.’ She is doing this to be with Romeo.
Summary: Lady Capulet tells the nurse to fetch some spices. Then, Capulet comes in and tells them to move, because ‘The second cock hath crowed.’ The nurse tells Capulet that he should be resting before the marriage, but he says that there is no need to. The nurse and Lady Capulet leave. Then, several servants come and Capulet orders them around, telling them what supplies they must gather. Then, the nurse comes back and says that she will look go and wake Juliet.
The Nurse goes to wake Juliet. At first she thinks she is very soundly asleep but gradually realises that she is dead. Lady Capulet and her husband enter the bedroom and are horrified at this news. The Friar and Paris also arrive and are equally distressed. All five grieve the sudden and shattering death of Juliet. Friar Lawrence tries to calm their grief.
What does Friar Lawrence tell them they should remember?
Friar Lawrence tells the Capulets that Juliet is in heaven now, which is a better place. He says that they always wanted Juliet to marry a nobleman and climb the social ladder, and now she is as high up as heaven, they should be happy for her.
What decision does Capulet make as a result?
He says that there will be an extravagant funeral for Juliet. He tells everyone ‘All things that we ordained festival, turn from their office to black funeral.’ This means that they will use all of the wedding’s resources, just in the opposite way that they had been intended to be used. For example, the wedding banquet will become the sad burial meal.
They all leave, except the Nurse, who begins to prepare Juliet’s body for burial. The musicians, who have been hired for the wedding, now leave. Peter, the Nurse’s servant, asks them to play to cheer him up. They refuse and after some talk they leave.
What is Romeo’s mood at the beginning of this scene? Quote to support your points. Romeo is joyful, because he had an interesting dream in which he imagined that he was dead, and Juliet revived him. He says ‘And all this day, an unaccustomed spirit lifts me above the ground with cheerful thoughts.’ However, he mentions that it is an unusually good mood, so he is not usually like this.
What does Romeo decide to do once Balthasar leaves? He decides to poison himself, because he is so sad about Juliet’s ‘death’ and wants to be with her. He thinks that an apothecary who is living in poverty would be willing to sell it to him, because he would be desperate, despite it being against the law.
What prompts the apothecary to sell the poison? Why should he not? When Romeo asks for the poison, he says ‘Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua’s law is death to any he that utters them.’ This means that he will be killed if it is found that it was him who gave the drugs to Romeo. In the end, he decides to sell the poison to Romeo because Romeo convinces him that he needs the money from the sale to survive.
Summary: Friar Lawrence and Friar John meet and talk to each other. Friar Lawrence asks Friar John if he informed Romeo about Juliet’s plan to take the drugs, but Friar John says that he was unable to. Friar Lawrence says that the letter was very important. He speaks ‘The letter was not nice, but full of charge!’ He then says that Juliet will not be happy that Romeo was not informed, and the two leave.
Scene Three (Quote to support your points for each question)
When and where does this scene take place? The scene takes place at the Capulet family tomb, at night. The text at the top of the scene reads ‘Capulet tomb, late that night.’
Why does Paris go to Juliet’s tomb? He wants to mourn the death of Juliet by throwing flowers all over her grave. He says ‘Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew.’ This shows he is very sad. He also talks about a ritual that involves sprinkling perfumed water over the grave each day.
What excuses does Romeo give to Balthasar for wanting to open Juliet’s tomb? He says that he goes in ‘partly to behold my lady’s face,’ but also to remove a ring from her finger for an important use. He also hints that he will do something else, but if Balthasar comes to investigate, he will ‘tear thee joint by joint, and strew this hungry churchyard with thy limbs!’
Why does Romeo kill Paris? Paris thinks that Romeo is at the tomb to harm Juliet’s body in some way, saying ‘Stop thy unhallowed toil, vile Montague! Can vengeance be pursued further than death?’ Romeo has also been banished and is not supposed to be at the tomb. However, he doesn’t want to fight, saying ‘Good gentle youth, tempt not a desperate man! Fly hence, and leave me!’ However, Paris thinks that Romeo is a vile villain and says that he will arrest him. Romeo then gets angry and they draw their swords and begin to fight. Paris dies.
Why does Friar Lawrence leave Juliet on her own? The Friar hears a noise outside the tomb and says ‘A greater power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents!’ He decides to investigate and leaves the tomb, then Juliet kills herself with Romeo’s dagger.
Explain in detail what Montague and Capulet do at the end of the play to make amends. After realizing what has happened, Montague decides to make a golden statue of Juliet, so that all of Verona can see it. He says ‘I will raise her statue in pure gold.’ Then, Capulet agrees to do the same, but with a statue of Romeo, and the two agree to put them together so the two lovers and families can be united.