Romeo and Juliet Quotes

“O brawling love, O loving hate…” Oxymoron – fighting because of loyalty and passion but causing damage all the same. Romeo remains impartial and melancholy.
“That when she dies, with beauty dies her store.” Romeo is fickle and shallow – this is about Rosaline (celibate). However, this could be a cataphoric reference as it later becomes relevant to Juliet.
“Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear;” Juliet is too special for everyday use and too valuable for the world – celestial imagery. Parallels Capulet’s “earth hath swallow’d”
“So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,” The image of hope and peace, a dove, is juxtaposed against ugly pests. Possible foreshadowing – crows connote death. Links to “I will make thee think thy swan a crow.”
“Swits and spurs, swits and spurs, or I’ll cry a match.” Prosaic – shows informality and wit; natural friendship with Mercutio.
“But love thee better than thou canst devise.” He’d start a brawl if he told them about his marriage to Juliet. Romeo uses ‘thee’ to be familiar, but Tybalt sees it as derogatory, obviously.
“I’ll be new baptis’d Henceforth I never will be Romeo.” “Baptis’d” – strong religious connotations link to Lovers’ Meet scene. The modal verb ‘will’ and adverb ‘never’ express commitment and certainty.
“then I defy you, stars!” Exclamative and declarative – Romeo feels as if fate is working against him and wants to rebel, by ending his misery through suicide. This is dramatic irony – “star cross’d lovers”.
“Here’s to my love! [drinks]” Heavy irony: situational, as the drink is not a toast to health but death, and dramatic, because the audience knows Juliet is not actually dead yet.
“My only love sprung from my only hate!” Juliet is naïve and sheltered – Romeo is her ‘only love’ though she barely knows him, and the Montagues are her ‘only hate’. The two are juxtaposed.
“O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?” ‘Romeo’ disrupts iambic pentameter, symbolic of how he disrupts the feud by falling for Juliet. Repetition suggests obsession, and ‘thou’ conveys familiarity.
“Dove feather’d raven,” Bird motifs – same juxtaposition in order to foreshadow. Oxymorons show how Juliet feels conflicted, but also Romeo’s influence on her as he uses them too in A1S1.
“Good father, I beseech you on my knees,” Juliet is submissive here, indicated by the pronoun ‘you’ (also shows distance). Capulet uses ‘thou’ so the conversation has a master/servant dynamic.
“Or bid me go into a new-made grave And hide me with a dead man in his shroud—” Juliet is hypothetical and hyperbolic – all the things she would rather do than marry Paris. It’s a cataphoric reference because she actually ends up doing this, showing her devotion to Romeo and the extreme situation.
“Here’s drink — I drink to thee.” Situational irony again as it isn’t a toast to health (sleeping potion). Romeo mirrors this language later when he kills himself.
“drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after?” ‘Friendly’ and ‘help’ are ironic, so this illustrates how juvenile and actually how desperate and distraught Juliet is. There is no reason to live if Romeo is dead, even though marriage to Paris wouldn’t be bigamy anymore.
(Well, what was yours?) “That dreamers often lie.” Shared line and the pun ‘lie’ showcase his mercurial wit. The language here indicates that Romeo and Mercutio are friends.
“the very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy’s butt shaft.” A series of plosives again demonstrates Mercutio’s talent with words. He is cynical of love (implying it is a weakness) and mocks Romeo for it. The line is prosaic to convey Mercutio’s inability to be restricted by iambic pentameter as he rambles on.
“An old hare hoar” song Double-entendre: ‘whore’ Bawdy humour; Mercutio is provocative, but again cynical.
“Tybalt, you rat-catcher, will you walk?” Punning again (Tybalt was a common cat’s name) – he insults and provokes Tybalt, even though he will start a brawl.
“Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch, marry, ’tis enough.” Dramatic understatement (litotes) at a dire time – gallows humour. ‘Scratch’ is a pun – he mocks Tybalt on his deathbead (cats).
“Why the dev’l came you between us!” Expression “why the dev’l” indicates Mercutio’s anger, as does the exclamative. ‘You’ connotes distance, which isn’t good as Romeo is supposed to be his best friend, but accidentally got him killed.
“Thou wast the prettiest babe I e’er nurs’d.” The superlative ‘prettiest’ shows the Nurse’s fondness for Juliet. ‘Thou’ is familiar.
“Will you speak well of him that kill’d your cousin?” Interrogative, not accusative – it is something she wants Juliet to consider as she doesn’t want Juliet to get hurt. Reverts to ‘you’, so perhaps in this scene her loyalties lie with the Capulet house (which is reasonable really).
“You are to blame, my lord, to rate her so.” Declarative — accusatory towards Capulet, defends Juliet.
“Romeo’s a dishclout to him.” The Nurse used to be fond of Romeo (though she did think Paris was better), so it feels quite insincere. She’s trying to persuade Juliet because marriage to Paris is in her best interest, but Juliet is so blinkered that honesty isn’t an option.
“Alas, alas! Help, help! my lady’s dead!” String of exclamatives; ‘alas’ conveys grief. She has a strong connection to Juliet. This is also dramatic irony.
“Earth hath swallow’d all my hopes but she; she’s the hopeful lady of my earth.” All of Capulet’s other children are dead – Juliet is a only child, and the only hope for Capulet in life and in legacy.
“Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wretch!” ‘Thee’ is derogatory towards his own daughter. ‘Hang’ could be in reference to her being a burden (‘baggage’) or as in ‘kill yourself.’
“Death is my son-in-law, Death is my heir,” Death is personified here. It seems Capulet is very bothered by the fact that the house will no longer have a legacy, rather than the ‘death’ of Juliet – but then again, death was common in Elizabethan times.
“I hate the word, [peace] As I hate hell, all Montagues and thee:” Tybalt being aggressive, basically.
“These violent delights have violent ends.” Friar Lawrence thinks Romeo and Juliet are going too fast – juxtaposition and cataphoric referencing.
“Young men’s love then lies Not truly in the hearts but in their eyes.” Friar Lawrence knows Romeo well, so sees right through him: he now loves Juliet for her looks, and has forgotten all about Rosaline.

You Might Also Like