The Death Motif In Shakespeare — страница 2

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Lady Capulet wishes her daughter to be married to her grave (ll. 145), which is ironic, as Juliet will take a potion causing her to appear dead in IV, ii. That same evening, the lovers consummate their marriage, and in the morning, Juliet makes yet another prophesy, “O God, I have an ill-divining soul! Methinks I see thee, now thou art below, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb. Either my eyesight fails me, or thou lookest pale” (ll.55-58). Consequently, she seeks the counsel of the Friar. Juliet threatens to kill herself if he will not help her, as she, like Romeo, believes that death is the only solution. The Friar suggests she “go through” with the wedding, and discusses a plan with her of simulating her death with a potion that will put her into a very deep sleep.

With the Friar’s plan at hand, Juliet “fantasizes about being surrounded by corpses, and she herself being a “fresh” corpse (IV, i). In IV, iii, Juliet says to the Nurse, “Farewell! God knows when we shall meet again,” (ll.15) giving a prelude to her own apparent death. Juliet then ponders what she will do if the potion does not work, and decides to take a dagger with her to bed. She hopes that she will be able to use the dagger if she wakes in the morning to truly dispense herself from the world (ll.22-24). She continues her banter, afraid that she will wake up next to Tybalt’s dead body before Romeo can exhume her. She also becomes fearful of suffocation from the unhealthy fumes in the catacomb (ll.31-36). Finally, in this dismal speech, she closes with the fact

that if she is not exhumed quickly after waking, that she will go mad at the sight of Tybalt’s freshly dead body, and take a bone and smash her brains in (ll.50-55). Meanwhile, the Friar is trying to get word to Romeo of his plan to join the two lovers. So, he sends a messenger to Mantua to deliver a letter with the details to Romeo (IV, i). On the morning of the wedding, Juliet is found “dead” by her Nurse, and the wedding turns into a funeral (IV, v). Unfortunately for Romeo, word of the Friar’s plan was delayed by a plague (death). Ironically, Balthasar does not have a problem delivering the news of Juliet’s death to Romeo. The scene opens with Romeo’s prophetic dream, “I dreamt that my lady came and found me dead….” (ll.6). Moments later, Balthasar delivers

his somewhat inaccurate news to Romeo, “Her body sleeps in Capel’s monument, and her immortal part with angels lives” (ll.18-19). After Balthasar departs, Romeo decides that he is going to an apothecary, so that he can poison himself and lie with Juliet (ll.36-54). The apothecarist is hesitant to sell the poison to Romeo, but finally gives him a powerful poison (ll.60-89). In the final scene, Paris is mourning over Juliet’s death, and as he spies a torch, he hides. Romeo arrives on the scene with Balthasar, and Romeo asks Balthasar to do two things, deliver a letter to his family in the morning, and not to come to the grave no matter what he hears (ll.23-27). Romeo goes on to threaten Balthasar with death if he comes to investigate what Romeo is doing (ll.33-36). Before

he opens the grave, Romeo addresses the grave, “Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death, gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth, thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, and in despite I’ll cram thee with more food” (ll45-48). Here we see Romeo personify the grave, and shows anger towards it for eating Juliet. He finally offers himself to the grave as well (V, iii). Paris emerges, as he thinks that Romeo is desecrating the grave, and the two men duel. Romeo cannot see the other man, and slays him. Paris asks that Romeo lay his body beside that of Juliet, and Romeo says he will. Upon spying the face of the slain man, Romeo discovers that it is Mercutio’s kinsman, the County Paris. He obliges the dead man and lays him in the tomb. When in the tomb, Romeo looks at Juliet

and says, “Death, that hath sucked the honey of thy breath, hath had no power yet upon thy beauty…That unsubstantial Death is amorous, and that the lean abhorred monster keeps thee here in dark to be his paramour?” (ll.92-105). Here Romeo comments that Death, personified, has not yet taken away Juliet’s beauty. He then goes on to state that Death is keeping Juliet as its wife. At the end of his monologue, Romeo drinks the poison and dies. The Friar arrives upon the scene a bit to late, but is there to greet Juliet when she awakens. The sight is too horrible for him, and he leaves Juliet alone in the tomb. Distraught that there is no more poison left, Juliet stabs herself. At the end of the play, we also learn of the sudden death of Lady Montague, after Romeo’s