Romeo and the Apothecary

  • Dominick M. Grace Algoma University College

Abstract

Romeo and Juliet 5.1, the apothecary scene, makes at best a minimal contribution to the forward action of the play. If the apothecary's function is to be a plot device to provide Romeo with poison, why devote so much space to him? If we consider the scene as a whole, as a dramatic unit enhancing the structure of the play and clarifying Romeo's character development; if we consider the thematic links between the action here and elsewhere; and if we consider the casting of the apothecary, we can discover the importance of the scene. A key point is that the apothecary is linked to Friar Lawrence. The two characters function as foils and as thematic contrasts, serving to clarify our understanding of Romeo's actions.

Published
1998-01-01
Section
Articles