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What premonition does Romeo have in "Romeo and Juliet"?

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linzey | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:16 AM via web

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What premonition does Romeo have in "Romeo and Juliet"?

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sullymonster | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted May 27, 2008 at 10:47 AM (Answer #1)

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Romeo's premonition comes at the end of Act I, scene iv, right before he and his friends go off to Capulet's party.  Here is the text:

  • I fear, too early: for my mind misgives
    Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,
    Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
    With this night's revels; and expire the term
    Of a despised life, clos'd in my breast,
    By some vile forfeit of untimely death:
    But He that hath the steerage of my course
    Direct my sail!

He imagines that this night's party is about to start some turn of events that will result in death.  However, he also feels that he has no control over these events - fate "hath the steerage of [his] course."  Of course, as readers we have already been told that there will be deaths of some "star-cross'd lovers".  Shakespeare told us in the prologue.  Here, from Romeo's own mouth, is a reminder!

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