Romeo and Juliet: Important Quotations

Explain: “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun. Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, who is already sick and pale with grief.” -While Juliet is standing on the balcony, her beauty makes Romeo believe that she is the sun, and is transforming the darkness into light-Romeo thinks of himself as the moon, who is jealous of Juliet’s (the sun’s) beauty
Explain:”O Romeo, Romeo,wherefore art thou Romeo?Deny thy father and refuse thy name,Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” -During the “balcony scene”, Juliet says this to herself, without knowing Romeo is below her-asking why Romeo must be Romeo, a Montague, and asks him to give up his family in order to be in love with her-she adds that if he won’t give up his family, she will give up hers, if he tells her that he loves her
Explain:”O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you. . . .She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comesIn shape no bigger than an agate stoneOn the forefinger of an alderman,Drawn with a team of little atomiAthwart men’s noses as they lie asleep.” -Mercutio is trying to convince Romeo to forget about Rosaline and come to the Capulet feast-After Romeo says he is depressed because of a dream, Mercutio describes “Queen Mab”, who is the bringer of dreams-in the process, Mercutio describes dreams as destructive and delusional
Explain:”From forth the fatal loins of these two foes A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,Whose misadventured piteous overthrows Doth with their death bury their parents’ strife” -spoken by the chorus in the prologue-informs the audience that because of the feud between the Capulets and the Montagues, Romeo and Juliet are destined to die-sets up the major theme of fate throughout the novel
Explain:”A plague o’ both your houses!” -as Mercutio dies as a result of the Montagues and Capulets’ feud, he curses the families with a plague-foreshadows the rest of the novel
Explain:”What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other word would smell as sweet.” -Juliet expresses that one’s name does not define them-instead, people should be judged based on their own merit alone
Explain:”Good Night, Good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow, that I shall say good night till it be morrow.” -Juliet is sad that she has to say goodbye to Romeo-she is happy at the same time because when she sees him tomorrow, they will be getting married
Explain:”Then I defy you, stars” -Romeo announces his opposition to his own fate-Ironically, this opposition will result in him taking his own life, and in turn Juliet will take her life, bringing about both of their fates

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