The theme of death in Romeo & Juliet

Essay by kaspercaCollege, UndergraduateA, June 2004

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The theme of death is portrayed many times by the characters Mercutio, Romeo, and Juliet. The first instance of this theme was in act 3 when Mercutio challenged Tybalt to a sword fight. 'Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find a grave man.'(3.1.104) Also as Mercutio is dying he says 'Help me into some house, Benvolio, Or I shall Faint.' (3.1.113.) Both quotes show how Mercutio partook in the death theme.

In Act 5, Romeo again reveals the death theme. Upon hearing of Juliet's death, he is so heartbroken that he goes to the apothecary to get poison so he can join Juliet. 'To Juliet's grave; for there must I use thee.' (5.1.93). When Romeo is about to drink the poison he says, 'Here's to my love! [Drinks.] O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die. [Falls.]' (5.3.122). This shows how Romeo loves Juliet, so much so that he is willing to die to be with her.'

After Juliet wakes up from her death-like sleep, she sees Romeo's dead corpse and like him, wants to join him in death. 'O churl! Drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after? I will kiss his lips. Haply some poison yet doth hang on them. To make me die with a restorative.' (5.4.163-164) shows how desperate she is to join him and 'O happy dagger! [Snatches Romeo's dagger.] This is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die. [She stabs herself and falls.]' (5.4.169-170) shows her following through.

All these quotes show how the theme death was portrayed by the characters Mercutio, Romeo, and Juliet in the play Romeo and Juliet. This theme was very important to the play for it is the core of the tragedy and helps to...