Romeo and Juliet Act 5 Scenes 1 - 2 Summary

     Act five scene one is the only scene that takes place outside of Verona. It begins with Romeo alone in Mantua delivering a soliloquy about a dream he had the previous night. Then he sees Balthasar, his personal servant, coming toward him. He becomes excited and asks for any news Balthasar might have about Juliet. Unfortunately, Balthasar reports that he saw Juliet's body being put into the Capulet's tomb, so he rushed to Romeo to tell him the news. Romeo is stunned; he can't believe Juliet is dead. He asks Balthasar if he has a letter for him from Friar Laurence because he knows Friar Laurence said that he would keep Romeo informed of any news. Balthasar does not, and clearly the friar who does have the letter for Romeo has not yet arrived. Romeo decides to make a drastic decision and kill himself next to his wife. He remembers seeing an apothecary, who is a man who sells medicines and drugs, so he decides to visit him for some poison. When he speaks to the Apothecary, he informs Romeo that it is against the law for him to sell Romeo the poison he desires. Romeo sees that the man is poor, and offers him a large sum of money to which the Apothecary begrudgingly agrees to give Romeo the poison. Romeo then hurries back into Verona to be with his love.

     Scene two takes place at Friar Laurence's cell where Friar Laurence is talking to Friar John. Friar Laurence is asking what response Romeo gave to his letter, but Friar John explains that he couldn't deliver it. He said that along the way he got caught in a town, which had a contagious disease infecting many people. The people were so worried about spreading the disease that they opted to quarantine everyone in the town until they were sure that people would not carry it with them on to other towns. Friar John was trapped in that town until they deemed him disease-free and released him. He decided to return to Verona instead of continuing on to Mantua with the letter. Friar Laurence is upset by this news. He realizes that Romeo won't know of their plan and come to rescue Juliet from the tomb. Friar Laurence decides to write a new letter to Romeo once again explaining the plan but then asking him to pick up Juliet at Friar Laurence's cell. Friar Laurence decides he must rescue Juliet from the tomb and then hide her until Romeo arrives. Little does he know that Romeo is already on his way to the tomb.

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