Page: It all happened so fast, and I ran away (5.3.279-285)

PRINCE           Where is the County’s page that raised the Watch?

                        Sirrah, what made your master in this place?

PAGE               He came with flowers to strew his lady’s grave,

                        And bid me stand aloof, and so I did.

                        Anon comes one with light to ope the tomb,

                        And by and by my master drew on him,

                        And then I ran away to call the Watch. (5.3.279-285)

Another scared boy (sirrah puts him in his place, although it’s not unkind), with very little to add: like Balthasar he just did what he was told, and he didn’t see much; he seems not to have recognised Romeo (he was meant to be keeping watch, standing aloof, and it was, after all, dark, and everything happened so fast, anon, and by and by, and it was all very confused). And then I ran away to call the Watch: I did the sensible thing, I couldn’t intervene myself, but I did what I could… With the Page’s narrative, all those breathless ands showing his youth, his eagerness both to please and to get this over with, the story has been more or less concluded. The way that the telling of the story is given to such minor, even anonymous characters helps, again, to round the play off, to distance it a little. But it also reinforces that almost everyone who was most centrally involved is now dead. (In the sense of, who’s left to clear up, there are echoes of the end of ‘Pyramus and Thisbe’ in Midsummer Night’s Dream: ‘Moonshine and Lion are left to bury the dead. Ay, and Wall too’. But as Bottom retorts to the snarky courtiers, ‘No, I assure you, the wall is down that parted their fathers’…)

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