Crime And Banishment In Romeo And Juliet

1195 Words5 Pages
In the Elizabethan era crime and punishment was one of the most important things to keep the order in society. Crime and punishment in the Elizabethan era has much to do with Shakespeare’s famous play Romeo and Juliet. The banishment of Romeo after he killed Tybalt in the streets of Verona should have led to Romeo 's execution but got away with a lesser penalty. Later in the play, Romeo says that he would have rather been killed than to be away from Juliet, which shows that the crime and punishment worked well by giving him the worst possible, while still humane punishment. Many lives were taken over the course of the play, none of which were punished with execution. Since Romeo was high up in the social pyramid, he was able to get away with the murder of Juliet 's cousin with only banishment from Verona. In Elizabethan England crime was often thought of as something reserved for people of the lower social classes. Furthermore, begging was one of the most common crimes committed during the time. Another common crime that was punished at the time was theft. Theft of anything over the value of 5 pence, worth 0.61 of a Euro…show more content…
The sale of poison for any cause during the Elizabethan era was illegal and punishable by death. During Romeo’s time in Mantua, he started to plot a way to get back to Verona and get Juliet back. In Mantua, Romeo purchased a vile of poison to kill himself if he is unable to get Juliet back. Since the sale of poison is illegal and punishable by death, he finds a poor apothecary that will do anything for money and has him make a batch of his strongest poison for Romeo. The apothecary responds to his responds with “My poverty but not my will consents” (5.1, 75). Romeo replies to the apothecary’s statement with “I pay thy poverty and not thy will.” (5.1, 76). By saying this Romeo means that he is sorry for what he is morally doing to the apothecary, but he will be rewarded with money to help out with the poverty the man is going
Open Document