A newly banished Romeo in Mantua awaits for Balthasar to bring news of his family and Juliet to him. Upon hearing the news of Juliet's "death", Romeo has chosen to buy poison from an apothecary and use it to kill himself.
This shows Romeo as being very passionate as he says that will die with Juliet, because he does not wish to live in a world without her. This also foreshadows Romeo's plan to kill himself and be with Juliet in death
Get thee gone, and hire me those horses. Well, Juliet, I will lie with thee tonight.
News from Verona; how now, Balthasar? How doth my Juliet? For nothing can be ill if she be well.
Then she is well and nothing can be ill. Her body sleeps in the Capulet monument. I do beseech you, sir, have patience.
Here lives the needy man who would sell me the poison.
The Beggar's shop is shut. What ho, Apothecary!
Romeo is seen here as being defiant, as he is willing to ignore the laws of Mantua in order to get the poison and ignore the Prince's orders and return to Verona. The Apothecary is seen here as being sensible because of his choice to abide by the law and refuse to sell the poison.
Hold, there is forty ducats. Let me have a dram of poison.
Such mortal drugs I have, but Mantua's law is death to any he that utters them
In this scene we see Romeo use imagery describing the poor Apothecary's looks and how he is starving and needs the money Romeo is offering. This scene also shows that the Apothecary is desperate, and has to ignore the law in order to survive.
Famine is in thy cheeks, Need and oppression starveth in thy eyes . The world is not thy friend, nor the worlds law.
My poverty, but not my will, consents.
Come, cordial and not poison, go with me. To Juliet's grave. for there must I use thee.