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What does Romeo mean when he says, "Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,/Who is...

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foxclaw | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 29, 2008 at 12:05 PM via web

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What does Romeo mean when he says, "Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,/Who is already sick and pale with grief"?

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Susan Woodward | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

Posted January 29, 2008 at 8:11 PM (Answer #1)

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In order to fully understand the passage, you need the preceding lines:

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.

Here Romeo is looking up at the window to Juliet's bedroom.  Shakespeare is using a metaphor to compare Juliet's beauty to the rising sun.

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief

That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

When the sun rises, it "kills" the darkness of the night.  The moon is personified as being so envious of Juliet's beauty that it is "sick and pale with grief" that Juliet is "far more fair" than the moon is.  In other words, Romeo is saying that Juliet is pretty hot!  By telling the sun (Juliet) to "arise", Romeo means that he wishes that Juliet would come out onto the balcony to light up the night.

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brandih | eNotes Employee

Posted January 30, 2008 at 1:43 AM (Answer #2)

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There is an in-depth explanation of this entire quote in the Shakespeare quotes section.

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coco48 | Student | eNotes Newbie

Posted February 18, 2009 at 10:31 AM (Answer #4)

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Juliet come out and brighten my world/take away my grief

 

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