Who gave Juliet the sleeping Potion

by Sehrish Vulvox ABC

Romeo and Juliet is a classic tragedy written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century. The play tells the story of two young lovers from rival families, the Capulets and the Montagues, who fall in love and eventually die tragically. One of the most pivotal moments in the play is when Juliet takes a sleeping potion to feign her death, which ultimately leads to the tragic ending of the story. However, the question remains: who gave Juliet the sleeping potion?

The Apothecary

One popular theory is that the apothecary is the one who gave Juliet the sleeping potion. In Act IV, Scene 1, Romeo goes to Mantua to buy poison from the apothecary. The apothecary initially refuses to sell the poison, but ultimately agrees after Romeo offers him a large sum of money. Some argue that the apothecary may have also given Juliet the sleeping potion, either at Romeo’s request or out of his own volition.

Friar Laurence

Another theory is that Friar Laurence, a key character in the play, is the one who gave Juliet the sleeping potion. In Act IV, Scene 1, Juliet goes to Friar Laurence for help, and he gives her a potion to drink that will make her appear dead. The friar’s motives for giving Juliet the potion are unclear, but some suggest that he hoped the ruse would bring an end to the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues.

Juliet Herself

A third theory is that Juliet obtained the sleeping potion herself, without the help of any other character. In Act IV, Scene 3, Juliet expresses her fears about taking the potion, but ultimately decides to go through with it. Some argue that Juliet may have obtained the potion from the apothecary or from another source.


Romeo is Juliet’s lover and the one who ultimately finds her lifeless body. He is devastated by her death and takes his own life shortly after.

The Effects of the Sleeping Potion on Juliet

The Sleeping Potion is a crucial element in William Shakespeare’s tragic play, Romeo and Juliet. In the play, the potion is used by Friar Laurence to make Juliet appear dead so that she can avoid marrying Paris, and be reunited with Romeo. However, the potion has a significant effect on Juliet, both physically and emotionally.

Physically, the potion makes Juliet appear to be dead. When she drinks it, she falls into a deep sleep, and her body becomes lifeless. Her pulse stops, and her skin turns cold. She does not breathe, and her family and friends believe that she has passed away. This effect of the potion is what sets the tragic events of the play in motion.

Emotionally, the potion has a profound impact on Juliet. When she first contemplates taking the potion, she is filled with fear and uncertainty. She worries that the potion might not work, or that it might kill her. She also worries about waking up alone in the Capulet tomb, and the possible consequences of her actions.

The Relationship Between Friar Laurence and Juliet

The relationship between Friar Laurence and Juliet is a complex one in Romeo and Juliet. On the one hand, Friar Laurence is a mentor and confidante to Juliet, guiding her through her tumultuous relationship with Romeo. On the other hand, his actions also contribute to the tragic ending of the play.

From the beginning of the play, Friar Laurence takes an interest in Romeo and Juliet’s relationship. He agrees to marry them in secret, hoping that their union might help to end the feud between the Capulets and Montagues. He also counsels Romeo and Juliet on how to navigate their difficult situation and encourages them to be patient and cautious.

Despite Friar Laurence’s misguided actions, his relationship with Juliet is still an important one. He provides her with guidance and support when she needs it most. When she is faced with the prospect of marrying Paris, he offers her an alternative solution. When she is afraid of drinking the sleeping potion, he reassures her and gives her instructions on how to use it safely.


In conclusion, the question of who gave Juliet the sleeping potion remains a subject of debate and speculation among scholars and audiences alike. While the play provides some clues and hints, there is no definitive answer to this question. Ultimately, the identity of the person who gave Juliet the sleeping potion may be less important than the consequences of her decision to take it, which set in motion the tragic events that ultimately led to the deaths of Romeo and Juliet.

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