Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Act V, Scene 2

Summary

Friar John visits Friar Laurence and announces that he was unable to deliver Friar Laurence’s letter to Romeo. On his way to Mantua, Friar John stopped at a house full of sick people, which was then quarantined. Stuck in the house, Friar John was unable to reach Mantua or deliver the letter. Friar Laurence asks Friar John to find a crowbar and meet him in the cemetery. They have only three hours until Juliet wakes.

Analysis

In this scene, we see what happened to Friar Laurence’s message to Romeo: it never arrived. Juliet is due to wake at any moment, and when she does, she will find herself alone – or so Friar Laurence believes, since he does not know of Romeo’s plan to enter the tomb and kill himself. Like the other scenes in Act V, this scene moves quickly, driving the plot rapidly towards its end.

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