Romeo and Juliet Act 4 * Scene 1 & 2

Ashley, Kathryn, Julia & Mark
Plot Advancement
 Act IV, Scenes I and II are two of the final scenes before the
climax and set the circumstance for how the climax and the
rest of the plot will develop into the end of the play. These two
scenes are key moments in the play because it puts in motion
the section of the prologue that states “A pair of star-cross’d
lovers take their life”, which is the climax itself. These scenes
also allude to the audience what will end the lovers lives and
what will end the family’s feuding. The audience already
knows that Romeo and Juliet’s love does not end well, but
these scenes allow them to speculate what will happened as it
makes it seem as if the two characters may have a chance at a
happy ending.
Character Development
 Juliet: In the first few scenes Juliet is more reserved and
close-minded. This is because she never thought about
being in love or getting married until meeting Romeo. “It
is an honor that I dream not of.”(Act 1 Scene 3 Line: 67)
Juliet then changes into a more energetic and mature
young woman who is interested in getting married. “Go,
ask his name.-If he be married,”(Act 1 Scene 5 Line: 134)
Character Development
 Nurse: The nurse starts off being very caring towards
Juliet and always helps her with what she wants to do.
For example: Juliet wants Nurse to go and find Romeo
and ask him a bout the marriage as she does. Near the
end, the nurse goes against what Juliet wants and then
tells her to marry the prince. “Then, since the case so
stands as now it doth, I think it best you married the
County.”(Act 3 Scene 5 Line: 218-219)
Character Development
 Capulet: In the beginning of the play, Capulet was very
happy and an out-going man/father. He liked to make
people happy by throwing them a party. “Welcome,
gentlemen! Ladies that have their toes unplagued with
corns will have a bout with you.” (Act 1 Scene 5 Line: 1819) Towards the end of the play he becomes disagreeable
and not understanding towards Juliet when she says that
she does not want to marry the prince. “Hang thee,
young baggage! Disobedient wretch! I tell thee what: get
thee to church o'Thursday, Or never after look me in the
face.” (Act 3 Scene 5 Line: 161-163)
Relationship Development
Juliet’s Relationship with Romeo:
In the beginning of Act IV, scene I we are shown the full
extent of Juliet’s love for Romeo. Although in the previous acts
Romeo has been very passionate about expressing his love for
Juliet, she has been more hesitant in comparison. In Scene I of
Act IV, Juliet reveals her desperation to remain with Romeo and
the consequences she is willing to enact upon herself if she is
unable too, threatening to take her own life. Instead she is given
another option by Friar Lawrence and is willing to forsake her
family, friends, and home, by vowing to fake her own death in
hopes of being reunited with Romeo. This scene develops and
depicts Juliet’s side of her relationship to Romeo. The scene also
shows the trials that their relationship must endure as starcrossed lovers.
Relationship Development
Juliet’s Relationship with her Parents:
In Act IV, Scene II we watch Juliet as her relationship with
her parents deteriorates further, after previously refusing to
marry Paris at the end of Act III. Her relationship worsens again
as she deceives her parents into thinking that she intends to
willing marry Paris and is willing to lose them forever as long as
she is reunited with Romeo. Her parents believe that they’re
helping her by marrying her to Paris, but in actual fact are giving
her a fate she would rather die then have. Throughout the entire
novel Juliet and her parents relationship has been untruthful and
somewhat detached although they do genuinely seem to care
for her. Regardless, Juliet’s love for Romeo is once again shown
as more of a priority then her love for her family or her parents.
Theme Development
 Love as a cause of violence:
 Meaning: Hate, violence, death, love
 This theme is well represented during Act 4 Scene 1.
During a conversation between Juliet and Friar Laurence,
Juliet insists the help of Friar Laurence- and if he chooses
not to help, she will potentially kill herself, “Do thou but
call my resolution wise, And with this knife I’ll help it
presently.” Although no real action is taken by Juliet, it
shows that she is committed to Romeo, and will do
whatever it takes to not marry Paris.
Theme Development
 The forcefulness of love:
 Meaning: Love as an overpowering force
 During Act 4 Scene 2,
Juliet returns to the Capulet house and speaks with her father.
What is unknown to Capulet, is that Juliet is lying to him. “To
beg your pardon. Parson, I beech you! Henceforward I am ever
rul’d by you.” As we know, Juliet has no intention of marrying
Paris, or obeying her fathers wishes.
 This scene shows how Juliet’s love for Romeo is so powerful
that she is willing to go against her family, and the people she
loves, just to be with Romeo.
 The imagery in Scene 4.1 of Romeo and Juliet that they are
trying to describe is dark and gloomy because of the dark
place Juliet had to retreat to over her sorrow for Romeo being
banished because he had killed Tybalt. Then her father tried to
force her to marry Paris or she would be banished from her
 The imagery in Scene 4.2 that Shakespeare is trying to portray
is that the darkness is lifting from Juliet so the area is much
brighter, the people around her are much happier and she’s
back at home with her family. The reason for this is that she
made a plan with Friar Lawrence so she could be with Romeo
and be happy with him again.
Key Passage
 A key passage in Act 4 is Act 4, Scene 1, Line: 89-94. Friar
Laurence says: “Hold, then. Go home, be merry, give consent
to marry Paris. Wednesday is to-morrow. To-morrow night look
that thou lie alone; Let not thy nurse lay with thee in thy
chamber. Take thou this vial, being then in bed, and this
distilled liquor drink thou off;” This is a key passage because it
is the crucial moment when Juliet makes the decision to take
the potion which later on result taking her life.
Another key passage in Act 4 is Act 4, Scene 2, Line: 2527. Juliet says: “I met the youthful lord at Laurence' cell, and
gave him what becomed love I might, Not stepping o'er the
bounds of modesty. This is a key passage because she really
didn’t give the prince any love- she only got the potion.
 A part in this scene where there is contrast is when Friar
Laurence gives Juliet the potion. He gives it to her
intending for it to be used with a good outcome so that
she could go to sleep and forget about all the stress that
has been going on. “A thing like death to chide away this
shame, That copest with death himself to 'scape from it;
And, if thou darest, I'll give thee remedy.”(Act 4 Scene 1
Line: 75-77) The potion that was to be used for good
ended up being bad by the death of both Romeo and
 One symbol that occurs in this scene is the poison/potion.
This specific poison was suppose to represent calmness
and stillness but in the end it represents something
completely different. Romeo come to see Juliet and she
wakes up after he kills himself. That results in her taking
her own life. When Juliet takes the poison, she doesn't
know what she is getting herself into.
Scene’s Purpose
 The two first scenes of Act 4 are what leads up to the
 In scene one, Juliet receives help from Friar Laurence“Let not thy nurse lie with thee in thy chamber: Take thou
this vial, being then in bed,” Without this scene, and the
help of the Friar, there would be no plan, and no potential
resolution for the ‘star-crossed lovers”
 Without these scenes, there would be no tragic death,
and no resolution between the two families.

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