Updated: May 3, 2021
In Mantua, Romeo thinks over and over on his dream sequence in which Juliet finds him dead in a tomb and when she kisses he wakes up alive. At this time Balthasar, Romeo’s messenger comes there. He tells him about the burial of Juliet in Capulet’s tomb. Romeo with grief and anger goes to a medical shop to buy poison. Apothecary comes out and speaks with Romeo. He gives Romeo a poison perfect to his request (a poison capable of killing anyone instantly, once drunk). Romeo heads to Juliet’s tomb.
Friar John comes to meet Friar Lawrence in his cell. He was the one Friar Lawrence asked to send a message to Romeo in Mantua. John says he and his companion were found in the plague attacked the place and so they were quarantined. This situation made him bring the letter to him back. Friar Lawrence gets shocked at this because if the message is failed it will lead to a lot of problems. He then plans on going to Juliet’s tomb by himself and brings her to his cell until Romeo arrives because she will be awake 3 hours from now.
Paris in the tomb speaks to Juliet’s grave. He asks his Page to warn him of any man’s arrival. Romeo and Balthasar arrive with a torch and cross-crow (a tool) in hand. Paris knowing their arrival through Page hides in the dark and watches over them. Romeo curses the tomb for having Juliet in it then, he asks Balthasar to leave the place and take the letter to Montague in the morning. He also affirms that he is getting inside the tomb to have her ring nothing more than that and so if Balthasar tries to stop any of his actions by spying on him he threatens that he will tear his body and feed them to the tomb animals. Balthasar is scared on his talks and remains hidden and falls asleep. Paris now looks Romeo opening the tomb and mistakes that he has come to take revenge (for the death of Mercutio). Paris confronts him and they both fight and Paris dies (Paris’ page goes to call a watchman). Paris, before death asks Romeo to place him in the tomb where Juliet is. Romeo does what he asked. Then looking at the beautiful Juliet’s corpse he speaks a large soliloquy with grief and despair and finally drinks the poison. His last words are, ‘O true apothecary, thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.’
Friar Lawrence comes there with tools and sees a flash inside the tomb as if the tomb is in fire. He asks Balthasar about it and finds Romeo is there in the tomb for about half an hour. When he gets in he sees Romeo and Paris’ dead bodies. Juliet now wakes up, looking at Friar Lawrence she asks for Romeo her love and looks at his dead body. Friar Lawrence pleads with her to go with him and join the nuns because someone is coming towards the tomb. Juliet denies and so Friar Lawrence leaves out of fear. Juliet looks at the bottle in the hands of Romeo and finds his mode of death as poison. Then she kisses him to die with the effect of the poison but she stabs herself with Romeo’s dagger saying, ‘Thy lips are warm’ (because someone was reaching the tomb and she doesn’t want them to save her life). The Page with Chief Watchman arrives and looks at all three dead bodies. They then search for persons near the spot and finds out Friar Lawrence and Balthasar. Prince, Montague, Capulet and Lady Capulet reach the tomb. They all get the true secret of Romeo and Juliet’s love and marriage. Montague tells Prince, Lady Montague is dead on the sorrow of her son’s banishment. Prince Escalus after the entire inquiry he tells them how their feud has killed their loved ones and also his’. In the end, Montague and Capulet join hands shredding away their enmity and swears to each other that they will rise gold statues on Romeo and Juliet side by side (Montague- Juliet’s statue and Capulet- Romeo’s statue) which would represent their pure love in this city of Verona.
Four Great Tragedies by William Shkespeare with Introductions by Mark Van Doren, Pocket Books, 1948