Act 4, Scene 1 Notes from Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet Act 4, Scene 1

Paris and Friar Laurence enter in the friar's cell discussing the wedding plans for Thursday. Paris tells the friar that Capulet hopes to alleviate some of Juliet's grief over Tybalt's death by having the wedding at such short notice.

Juliet arrives and makes small talk with Paris. She says that she has come to confess to the friar. He dismisses Paris, and then Juliet begins to tell the friar what she really is there for. She says that death is her only answer to this horrible situation that has arisen.

She would rather kill herself than be untrue to her Romeo.

"Or bid me go into a new-made grave
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud -
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble -
And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstained wife to my sweet love."
Act 4, Scene 1, lines 84-8

Topic Tracking: Love 7

The friar dissuades her from committing suicide and suggests something else. He gives her a vial of special herbs and tells her to go home and agree to marry Paris. Then, drink the herbs tomorrow (Wednesday) night, the night before the wedding is to take place. They will make her appear as though she is dead for forty-two hours. Her family, thinking she is dead, will place her in the family vault. The friar will send word, via a letter, to Romeo in Mantua telling him of all that is to take place. He and the friar will then meet up at the Capulet vault and watch as Juliet awakens from the fake death.

Juliet agrees to take the vial and looks to love for strength to carry out the plans. They exit.

Topic Tracking: Love 8

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