How does Romeo behave in Act 5 Scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet?

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ajmchugh | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The beginning of Act 5, scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet marks Romeo's arrival at the Capulet monument.  It is clear, from Romeo's interactions with the other characters present in the scene, that he is firmly intent on committing suicide to be with Juliet.  First, Romeo instructs Balthasar that no matter what he (Balthasar) hears or sees, he must not interrupt Romeo:

Give me the light. Upon thy life I charge thee,(25)
Whate'er thou hearest or seest, stand all aloof
And do not interrupt me in my course.

Then, Paris, who is visiting Juliet's tomb and recognizes Romeo as Tybalt's murderer, exchanges words with Romeo. When Paris tells Romeo that he must die, Romeo, who intends to kill himself to be with Juliet, agrees and insists that he has come to the tomb to die.  Romeo gives Paris the opportunity to avoid a fight, and says,

Good gentle youth, tempt not a desp'rate man.
Fly hence and leave me. Think upon these gone;(60)
Let them affright thee. I beseech thee, youth,
Put not another sin upon my head
By urging me to fury. O, be gone!
By heaven, I love thee better than myself,
For I come hither arm'd against myself.(65)
Stay not, be gone. Live, and hereafter say
A madman's mercy bid thee run away.

However, Paris, unaware of Romeo's role in Juliet's life, refuses to leave and is killed by Romeo.

Ultimately, the play ends with Romeo's suicide, Juliet's awakening, and her subsequent suicide.  It is clear, from this scene, that Romeo is steadfastly determined to take his own life in order to be with Juliet. He does not allow Balthasar or Paris to distract him from his ultimate goal.

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