Romeo learns only of Juliet’s death and decides to kill himself rather than live without her. He buys a vial of poison from a reluctant Apothecary, then speeds back to Verona to take his own life at Juliet’s tomb. Outside the Capulet crypt, Romeo comes upon Paris, who is scattering flowers on Juliet’s grave. They fight, and Romeo kills Paris. He enters the tomb, sees Juliet’s inanimate body, drinks the poison, and dies by her side. Just then, Friar Lawrence enters and realizes that Romeo has killed Paris and himself. At the same time, Juliet awakes. Friar Lawrence hears the coming of the watch. When Juliet refuses to leave with him, he flees alone. Juliet sees her beloved Romeo and realizes he has killed himself with poison. She kisses his poisoned lips, and when that does not kill her, buries his dagger in her chest, falling dead upon his body.
The suddenness of Romeo and Juliet’s love, the circumstances in which they are a part—that of belonging to feuding families, and their extreme youth all contribute to the feeling that this is a temporary relationship. Romeo and Juliet’s concern is temporarily keeping their marriage secret—hoping to eventually fulfill the role of peacemakers.
An example of Romeo and Juliet’s concern with who they are is illustrated in Juliet’s balcony speech:
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name!
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I’ll no longer be a Capulet. (-39)
‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s a Montague? . . What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet . . (-43/46-47)