Significant Quotes, Romeo and Juliet, Act 1

“If ever you disturb our streets again, / Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” (1.1.87) Speaker: PrinceContext: The prince arrives to end a fight between the Capulets and Montagues.Significance: These lines are part of a long rant against the constant fighting between the two households. These lines in particular show how fed up the town and it’s leaders are with the conflict.
“O then I see Queen Mab hath been with you: / She is the fairies midwife, and she comes / In shape no bigger than an agate-stone / On the forefinger of an alderman,” (1.4.53-56) Speaker: Mercutio Context: Romeo speaks to Mercutio of a dream that made him depressed, and Mercutio proceeds with a long speech about dreamsSignificance: While this quote reveals a lot about Mercutio, it also implies that the dreams Queen Mab come in are correlated to the type of person who dreams. In this instance, Romeo is a lover so he dreams of love and more importantly, Rosaline. While speaking of this, Mercutio goes off on Queen Mab and Romeo is needed to calm him down.
“And too soon marred are those so early made. Earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she;” Speaker: CapuletContext: Paris is talking with Capulet about marrying Juliet.Significance: This it quote is a part of the dialogue where Capulet and Paris it talk about the marriage of Juliet. Capulet does care about Juliet and who she marries, but he doesn’t care about her on a personal level, more of a political level; he wants her to marry someone rich or of royal blood, but doesn’t care about her opinion, as he doesn’t even consult her on the issue. This theme of Capulet’s detachment from his daughter shows up more in the book; this is the initial establishment of that theme.
“What lady’s that which doth enrich the / hand / Of yonder knight?” (1.5.39-41) Speaker: RomeoContext: Romeo says this it when he notices Juliet at Capulet’s party. He is it astounded by her beauty.Explanation: This quote demonstrates Romeo’s flight of ideas in that he quickly abandons Rosaline in order to be with Juliet. In the play, this element of Romeo’s character forces him towards insanity because he really loves Juliet.
“In bed asleep, while they do dream things true.” (1.4.52) Speaker: RomeoContext: He is responding to Mercutio’s condemnation of dreams as untrueSignificance: Showcases Romeo’s slightly childish naivety and sets the stage for Mercutio’s monologue on Queen Mab, which is mostly a critique of Romeo’s idealism
“Then have my lips the sin that they have took.” (1.5.107) Speaker: Juliet Context: Romeo and Juliet are at dinner, and they are discussing holding hands as a sin is the same as kissing as a sin. They then kiss and they kiss again. They are soon interrupted by the nurse. She tells juliet that her mother wants to speak with her. Significance: This is significant because this is the first time they have talked and formally met each other, followed by holding hands, flirting, and kissing. All without learning each other’s names
“If love be rough with you, be rough with love; prick love for pricking and you beat down love.” (1.4.27-28) Speaker: MercutioContext: Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio are outside Capulets mansion and discussing love and Romeo’s love.Significance: This quote in particular is very significant because as the men discuss Romeo’s love dilemma at the moment, Mercutio delivers advice. Romeo is so burdened with his loss of “love” he can not go on and he does not realize he will soon meet Juliet, which is foreshadowed by Mercutio.
“If I profane with my unworthiest hand/This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this/My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand/To smooth that rough tough with a rough kiss” (1.5.92) Speaker: RomeoContext: Romeo has crashed the Montagues’ party, and is interacting with Juliet for the first time. The dramatic or emotional significance: The main focus of Romeo and Juliet is Romeo and Juliet’s forbidden romance. These lines are the first words Romeo speaks to Juliet, beginning the conflict that will drive the rest of the play.
“If ever you disturbb our streets again,/Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace.” (1.1.88-89) Speaker: PrinceContext: Prince’s first introductionSignificance: This is the first the audience sees of the Prince in which he is breaking up at fight, a very common occurrence for the prince, as he is neutral in the fight between the two sides.
“Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, too rude, too boist’rous, and it pricks like a thorn.” (1.4.25-27) Speaker: RomeoContext: Romeo is trying to get out of dancing with Rosaline at the party because he is drowning in his own sorrow. This is one of his many excuses to stand on the side and look longingly after her.Significance: This displays Romeos opinion on love and it gives the reader foreshadowing on love’s ultimate doomed ending.
“What lady’s that that which doth enrich the hand of yonder knight?” (1.5.39-41) Speaker: RomeoContext: This is the entrance of Romeo back into the scene at the dance and the first time he sees Juliet as he speaks about her with a servingman.Significance: The first time Romeo lays eyes on Juliet which is the turning point in the story and sets up the scene for the rest of the play.
“What, drawn and talk of peace? / I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee. / Have at thee, coward.” (1.1.61-63) Speaker: TybaltContext: Tybalt enters to find Benvolio breaking up a fight between Capulet and Montague servants. He restarts the fight because Significance: Emphasizes the feud between the families and Tybalt’s violent tendencies.
“Peace I have done. God mark thee to his grace, Thou wast the prettiest babe that e’er I nursed. And I might live to see thee married once, I have my wish.” (1.3.60-63) Speaker: NurseContext: The nurse, Lady Capulet, and Juliet were all talking about getting Juliet married.Significance: Shows the significance of the Nurse in the life of Juliet and how big of a role she played as the mother figure for Juliet.

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