(Podcast recorded and produced by Daniel J. Rowe, blog written and edited by Eric Jean)
Welcome Brawlers! I know Bard Brawl nation’s been waiting impatiently for this one and here it is, the dramatic conclusion to Romeo and Juliet.
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I know you’ve all been dying to find out how this play ends so here it is: they die! Yup. Juliet, dead. Romeo, dead.
“For never was a story of more woe / Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”
And that’s it really. The end.
Well, I don’t see the point in digging up the morbid details of a teenage double suicide but here goes, I guess.
Romeo’s buddy Balthazar shows up (booted!) in Mantua in act V, scene 1. Romeo is hoping for some good news but instead he learns that Juliet died and has been entombed in the Capulet crypts.
But it’s all good though because Romeo must have received the Friar’s message that this is just en elaborate and really dangerous ruse to sneak Juliet out of Verona and get her out of having to marry Paris.
Except he hasn’t received anything so he totally believes that Juliet’s gone. What’s a lovesick fool to do? Seek out a poor apothecary who’s willing to sell you some illegal poison. Then take that vial of poison, sneak into Juliet’ tomb and drink it down so you can be united in death.
(Maybe this is a good time to say it: don’t try this at home folks.)
At the start of scene 2, Friar John drops in on Friar Lawrence. Did John get the letter to Romeo? No. Why? Friar John was helping a friend care for the sick. And then he was quarantined and forbidden to leave the city or hand off the letter to someone else who could bring it for him.
But Father Lawrence, never being one for giving up, calls for his crowbar and suits up: he’ll rescue Juliet himself and hide her at his place until he can contact Romeo again.
(Maybe they should have gone with this version of the plan in the first place?)
Act V, scene 3. Enter Paris. Yes, him again. What is he doing in the cemetery with a bunch of flowers in his hand? Why, he’s planing to cover Juliet’s bier with flowers and lie down next to her. Tonight and every night.
Paris’ page is standing looking out he whistles when Romeo shows up with Balthazar with a shovel and a crowbar (who’s making all of these crowbars?). Romeo tells his friend that he’s just going in there to get some ring back that he needs and that he should scram and ignore anything that goes on in there.
Balthazar must be as creeped out about this as I am because he instead decides that he’ll hide out and spy on Romeo for a while.
Romeo cracks open the tomb and is about to enter when he is accosted by Paris. They fight. Romeo kills Paris. With his dying breath, Paris asks to laid out next to Juliet. Yeah, sure.
Hey Paris! Get a clue. Romeo and Juliet, not Paris and Juliet. (And definitely not Paris, Romeo and Juliet.)
Romeo enters the tomb and find Juliet lying there, lifeless. So he makes this massive death-bed speech and downs the super fast-acting poison.
…and then Friar Lawrence arrives.
Balthazar tells him Romeo’s been in there doing God knows what for about half an hour. Friar Lawrence notices the bloody swords and then Paris’ body.
…and then Juliet wakes up: “Hey, where’s Romeo?”
He’s kinda sorta dead.
Juliet’s not too excited at the prospect of living the rest of her life as a nun I guess so she grabs Romeo’s dagger, stabs herself and dies.
The watch finally arrives and takes everyone into custody while they wait for the prince to show up. When he does, Friar Lawrence spills the beans on the whole crazy plan.
Finally, the prince blames the Montague’s and Capulet’s feud for causing their children’s death. Overcome with grief, the Montagues and Capulets finally reconcile.
No one cares what happens to Paris.
We’re not quite done with Romeo and Juliet yet, though. We still have a speeches podcast coming up. If you have suggestions for which speeches you would like us to talk about, let us know in the comments below!
This week, another first-time sonneteer swings by as Kathleen “Momar” Rowe delivers Sonnet 55 with “Epic Diva” effect.
And hey. Buy ‘Zounds! You’ll never regret or forget it.
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