What quote from Act 3 of Romeo and Juliet best expresses that the two main characters are willing to die if they cannot be together?

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pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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I think that both Romeo and Juliet say things in this act that show that they would rather die than be separated.  For Romeo, there is a good quote in the lines he speaks to Friar Lawrence in Act III, Scene 3.  He says

Ha, banishment! be merciful, say 'death;'
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death: do not say 'banishment.'

To me, what he's saying is he'd rather die than be exiled.  Juliet seems to feel the same way.  In Act III, Scene 2, she says to the nurse (when she thinks Romeo, and not Tybalt, is dead)

O, break, my heart! poor bankrupt, break at once!
To prison, eyes, ne'er look on liberty!
Vile earth, to earth resign; end motion here;
And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier!

To me, this means that she wants to be buried with Romeo in one coffin (bier).

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copelmat | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Associate Educator

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missy575's profile pic

missy575 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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In the scene that Juliet learns of Romeo killing Tybalt, she expresses that she is more hurt by the fact that Romeo is being banished and says:

Wash they his wounds with tears: mine shall be spent,
When theirs are dry, for Romeo's banishment.
Take up those cords: poor ropes, you are beguiled,
Both you and I; for Romeo is exiled:
He made you for a highway to my bed;
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed.
Come, cords, come, nurse; I'll to my wedding-bed;
And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!

Here Juliet is saying if she can't be with Romeo, she'd rather die than let any other man have her.

Later in scene iii, Romeo confesses willingness to kill himself figuratively:

As if that name,
Shot from the deadly level of a gun,
Did murder her; as that name's cursed hand
Murder'd her kinsman. O, tell me, friar, tell me,
In what vile part of this anatomy
Doth my name lodge? tell me, that I may sack
The hateful mansion.

Drawing his sword

Here, he was asking the friar where and how he should kill himself for the wrong he has done to Juliet by killing her cousin.

Both Romeo and Juliet show their desperation in these scenes. Their willingness to kill themselves shows the passion they must have had to be together.

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