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What does Juliet mean in her opening soliloquy in Act 3, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Romeo...

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christy022712 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 16, 2012 at 1:59 AM via web

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What does Juliet mean in her opening soliloquy in Act 3, Scene 2 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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Tamara K. H. | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 16, 2012 at 7:04 AM (Answer #1)

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In Act III, Scene II, when Juliet says, "Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, / Towards Phoebus' lodging," she is using Greek mythology to express her eagerness for the day to pass and for night to fall so that her wedding night can take place (1-2). Phoebes Apollo is the sun god, who was believed to drive his chariot across the sky each night, the chariot representing the setting sun. Similarly, when she says, "Spread thy close curtain, love-performing night," she is again asking night to hurry up and come (5). Not only that, she is referring to night as a dark shroud, or veil, that will conceal Romeo from being dangerously seen by her family so that they can perform their "amorous rites," meaning engage in their wedding night (9). The rest of the passage is full of sexual inferences and culminates in her begging "gentle night...Give me my Romeo" (21-22). Finally, she refers to the day as "tedious" because she has married Romeo, but not yet enjoyed him, as we see in the lines,

O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess'd it; and though I am sold,
Not yet enjoy'd. (27-29)

All in all, in this speech, Juliet is saying that she is eager to enjoy her new husband.

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lunaretzer | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted May 16, 2012 at 2:15 AM (Answer #2)

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I wish the sun would hurry up and set and night would come immediately. When the night comes and everyone goes to sleep, Romeo will leap into my arms, and no one will know. Beauty makes it possible for lovers to see how to make love in the dark. Or else love is blind, and its best time is the night. I wish night would come, like a widow dressed in black, so I can learn how to submit to my husband and lose my virginity. Let the blood rushing to my cheeks be calmed. In the darkness, let me, a shy virgin, learn the strange act of sex so that it seems innocent, modest, and true. Come, night. Come, Romeo. You’re like a day that comes during the night. You’re whiter than snow on the black wings of a raven. Come, gentle night. Come, loving, dark night. Give me my Romeo. And when I die, turn him into stars and form a constellation in his image. His face will make the heavens so beautiful that the world will fall in love with the night and forget about the garish sun. Oh, I have bought love’s mansion, but I haven’t moved in yet.I belong to Romeo now, but he hasn’t taken possession of me yet. This day is so boring that I feel like a child on the night before a holiday, waiting to put on my fancy new clothes.

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musicbyabhi | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:48 PM (Answer #3)

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h

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musicbyabhi | Student, Grade 9 | (Level 1) eNoter

Posted November 6, 2012 at 6:49 PM (Answer #4)

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it means that juliet is using greek mythology.

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