PRINCE ESCALUS: Bring forth the men under suspicion.
FRIAR LAWRENCE: The greatest suspicion is on me, though I was able to do the least. My being here, at this time and place of this dire murder, casts doubt upon me, but I stand here to condemn myself for what I am guilty of and clear myself of the rest.
PRINCE ESCALUS: Tell us what you know of this affair.
FRIAR LAWRENCE: I will be brief, for the little that's left of my life is not so long as a tedious tale. Romeo, there dead, was husband to that Juliet. And she, there dead, was Romeo's faithful wife.
I married them—their secret wedding day was the same day Tybalt died. His untimely death caused the new-made bridegroom to be banished. Juliet mourned for him, not for Tybalt.
To lift her grief, you Capulets betrothed her to Paris and would have forced the marriage. She came to me then, and with a wild look begged me to devise some way to escape this second marriage—or else she would kill herself in my cell.
I gave her a sleeping potion, which I mixed using my medical training—it had the effect I'd intended, for it turned her into an image of death. In the meantime, I wrote to Romeo, telling him to come here this dire night to help take her from her borrowed grave when the potion wore off.
But the man who bore my letter, Friar John, was prevented from leaving, and last night he returned my letter to me.