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What does the quote "Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel" from...

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hannahhh | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted October 19, 2008 at 1:49 AM via web

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What does the quote "Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel" from "Romeo and Juliet" mean?

i dont know what Romeo and juliet quotes mean... HELP

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ms-mcgregor | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 19, 2008 at 2:06 AM (Answer #1)

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In this line from Act 3, Scene 3 of "Romeo and Juliet", Romeo is speaking to the Friar and says:

Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel.(65)
Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered,
Doting like me, and like me banished,
Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair
And fall upon the ground, as I do now,(70
Taking the measure of an unmade grave."

A modern translation is

"You can’t speak about something you don’t feel.
If you were as young as I, Juliet your love,
Married only an hour, Tybalt murdered,
Foolish like me, and, like me, banished,
Then you might speak, then you might tear your hair,
And fall upon the ground, as I do now,
Thinking about an unmade grave." 

 In other words, it you haven't felt what I've felt, you really cannot offer an opinion or advice.

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