Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Act III, Scene 3

Summary

Romeo is hiding out at Friar Laurence’s cell, lamenting his banishment and with it, his loss of Juliet. The Nurse arrives and tells Romeo that Juliet is handling the news of his banishment and of Tybalt’s death badly. At this, Romeo threatens to kill himself, but Friar Laurence talks him down and persuades him to go to Juliet. He warns, however, that Romeo must leave Verona before dawn or risk being caught and put to death. The Friar tells Romeo to go to Mantua and wait until the mess can be sorted out, but he expresses optimism that things can be put right.

Analysis

Just when things have gone badly for both Romeo and Juliet, Romeo threatens suicide – a glimpse of the play’s ending, which Friar Laurence is powerless to prevent. Here, Friar Laurence manages to calm Romeo down, but his attempts to repaint Romeo’s tragedy as a hopeful event largely fail, underlining the overall ineffectiveness established when the Friar’s own concerns about the haste of the marriage failed to stop him from performing it.

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