Two and forty hours—that’s just how long the is that Juliet, after taking the place she gained from Friar Laurence, will certainly borrow the “likeness of” death. Two and forty hours—that’s just how long Juliet is to appear as dead in order to escape her marital relationship with Paris and find her Romeo, that will be (should be) over there in the dig waiting because that her with the understanding that she (his Juliet) is alive and also just pretending.

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“And in this borrow’d likeness of shrunk deathThou shalt continue two and also forty hours,And climate awake together from a satisfied sleep.”

Act 4, scene 1, currently 104-106, Romeo and also Juliet

The Friar says.

How lengthy is Two and also Forty Hours?

Two and forty hrs is 42 hours. Straightforward enough. That means, that Juliet had actually the potion and was to wake up up 42 hours from once she took it. She is took appear as dead just quick of 2 days.

The structure of the sentence is following that of various other languages, such together German, i m sorry is “zweiundvierzig,” i beg your pardon transliterated is two and also forty hours.

The time was meant to be sufficient time because that Romeo to make his means to the tomb, after getting the letter sent out from the Friar. He was to it is in there and get Juliet out the tomb.

Romeo and also Juliet: Six and Twenty Hours


In the 2013 movie Romeo & Juliet, adjusted by Julian Fellowes, over there is a scene in i m sorry Friar Lawrence speak Juliet exactly how to escape the clutches the marrying county Paris therefore she deserve to be v her banished husband, Romeo.

In the scene, the Friar (played by Paul Giamatti) is expert with the “knowledge come concoct a mix that will certainly unlock’” Juliet from her present predicament.

The scene is really different to just how this certain moment functions in other adaptations the Romeo and Juliet such together Franco Zeffirelli’s renowned 1968 rendition. It additionally breaks free of the two and forty hours theme. For part reason, Fellow’s felt that two and forty hrs was much too long and shortened the moment to six and twenty hours.

Twenty-six hours.

The question: why shorten the time?

The answer: to rate up the story. Despite the story chin does not change—nor does the time for the audience—perhaps Fellow’s simply wanted to give the impression the time moving more swiftly, giving even much more credence to how fast and also passionate this lover’s action are.


During the scene through Friar Laurence, the film starts to visually depict what would happen once Juliet take it this potion; the Friar relates to her the events of his setup to conserve Juliet indigenous an unwanted marriage:

Then go home, be merry . . . And agree come marry Paris. Oh, i am in earnest, Juliet. For I have knowledge come concoct a mix that will unlock girlfriend from your existing cell. If you but find the nerve to swallow it. Tomorrow’s Thursday. Now tonight, make sure you sleep alone.

And send your prying nurse out of the room. Lie under upon your bed, climate take this phial . . . And also drink the clouded juice come the critical drop. Soon, soft drowsiness will certainly close your eyes. Your pulse will cease, and also there will be no authorize of life in ~ you. No warmth, nor breath, nor roses in her cheeks no one on her lips, yet stiff and also stark and every authorize of death. And also in this obtained likeness of a corpse, you will proceed for six and twenty hours, and also then awake as from a satisfied dream.

So Paris, ~ above his wedding morn, will involved find his bride is dead and also ripe for interment in the an excellent vault wherein Capulets execute lie. If I will certainly write v news come Romeo. He and I will certainly be there as soon as he will certainly wake you with a kiss. And also he will carry you to part far distant place, where all your anguish shall come to be pure joy

“Romeo and also Juliet” 01:16:48-19:23

A montage of pictures fills the display screen as this monologue progresses from scene to scene:

“Now tonight, make sure you sleep alone. And also send her prying nurse out of the room.”

Juliet is with her nurse. She nurse kisses her on the cheek, and Juliet mirrors the nurse the end of she room.  

“Lie down upon her bed, then take this phial . . . And also drink the clouded juice come the last drop.”

Juliet reached for the phial in a tiny chest close to her bedside. She takes the potion and also falls upon she bed.

“Soon, soft drowsiness will close her eyes . . .”

Juliet’s nurse finds she lying in what appears a deep slumber, just to find that Juliet looks dead; Juliet’s mother and also father come right into the room, stricken v horror, tears run down your eyes as they uncover her appearing dead.

“And in this borrowed likeness the a corpse, you will continue for six and 20 hours, and then awake as from a satisfied dream.”

Juliet is covered with a veil and buried in the dig of the Capulets with a sad, crying nurse the town hall the processional in the foreground.

“While I will write through news to Romeo”

Romeo is alive, and also well and we check out him get the letter that the Friar has sent him, telling Romeo that the setup that will finish the separation between him and his wife, Juliet. He smiles together he reads the letter.

“He and I will be there once he will certainly wake you through a kiss.”

Romeo elevator the veil off Juliet and kisses her, and also she awakens to find her husbands. Standing in the foreground is the smiling Friar.

“And he will lug you to part far far-off place, where all her anguish shall end up being pure joy.”

And Juliet and her Romeo ride off together right into the sunset, silhouettes set against a dulling hue that light.

“Give me the phial and talk no more of fear,” Juliet says, being sold on this hopeful story.


As viewers the the film, girlfriend are offered on this illusion, wanting Juliet to drink the phial, and also wanting Romeo and also Juliet to finish in a different, more hopeful way.

The on purpose of the filmmakers as soon as showing these images is to elicit hope in an otherwise hopeless story; the audience knows an extremely well the there is no expect in a Romeo and also Juliet film.

This scene is the very first time and also only time the audience sees what ‘could have actually been’ if the 2 ‘star-crossed lovers did no take their lives if the Friar to be able to gain the blog post to the banished Romeo over time to conserve him from going to the ‘true’ apothecary.

This is the just time audiences gain to check out Romeo and also Juliet v a happy ending. These visuals space stunning and still space the only saving grace because that a negative rendition of Shakespeare’s most well-loved plays.

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Two and also Forty hours In Short

In those brief but crucial two and also forty hours, Romeo and Juliet’s whole arrangement has please apart and their they room a product the their very own misfortune and also of their parent’s strife.