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How does Juliet "speak, yet ... [say] nothing"?

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hussam1997 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 6, 2012 at 5:04 PM via web

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How does Juliet "speak, yet ... [say] nothing"?

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noahvox2 | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator

Posted January 7, 2012 at 6:17 AM (Answer #1)

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This quotation comes from Act II, Scene 2 of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. The full line is as follows: "She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?"

This quotation is spoken by Romeo, who is standing in the Capulet's orchard beneath Juliet's window. Romeo has just seen Juliet and is praising her beauty. Juliet does not yet see or hear Romeo.

I would imagine that the key to understanding Romeo's meaning here is the line that follows the "She speaks" line. Romeo continues to say "Her eye discourses; I will answer it."

As many people discover, sometimes people can speak without saying a word. Sometimes people who know each other very well, or think they know the other person well, can understand what the other person has in mind without the other person having to speak. Best friends, brothers, sisters, and people in love can often understand what the other person is saying even when they are not saying anything.

In Juliet's case, I imagine that Romeo thinks her eyes are so beautiful that they speak volumes.

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