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What are some good quotes explained from Romeo and Juliet act 3?

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katiejov | Elementary School Teacher | Honors

Posted December 30, 2010 at 3:22 AM via web

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What are some good quotes explained from Romeo and Juliet act 3?

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

Posted December 30, 2010 at 3:53 AM (Answer #1)

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This quote from the beginning of scene v demonstrates both foreshadowing and an undying love. Romeo says:

Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death.
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I'll say yon grey is not the morning's eye,
'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow;
Nor that is not the lark whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads.
I have more care to stay than will to go.
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is't, my soul? Let's talk; it is not day

The two are lying in bed together and trying to figure out if it is time for Romeo to leave. They are trying to listen to the birds and look at the color coming through the windows to determine if it is night or day. If it is day, Romeo needs to bust out of there. Juliet doesn't want him to leave. So, whether literally or sarcastically, Romeo says to death to bring it on. He'd rather stay with her for a few more minutes and die than leave and be apart from her.

This section offers personification, pun, symbol, and allusion.

Later in the scene when he finally leaves, Juliet once again foreshadows his future and believes she sees him dead:

O God, I have an ill-divining soul!

Methinks I see thee, now thou art below,

As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.(55)

Either my eyesight fails, or thou look'st pale.

Finally, when her parents announce that she is marrying Paris even later in the scene, Juliet uses clever word play to give an answer to them with double meaning:

I pray you tell my lord and father, madam,
I will not marry yet; and when I do, I swear
It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate,(125)
Rather than Paris.

She says she would rather marry Romeo, which is indeed true, but she knows that they think she hates him because she is supposed to. This is also dramatic irony because we the audience know something that a character does not.


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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 30, 2010 at 4:44 AM (Answer #2)

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Since Act III of Shakespeare's romantic tragedy of Romeo and Juliet is the climax of the play, many of the actions and words of the characters effect the turning point of the drama.  For, the impetuous actions of Mercutio, Tybalt, Romeo, and Juliet, set the fate of these characters. As foreshadowing of the tragic events to follow, the weather is hot and causes Mercutio's temper to rise just as the mercury, for which he is named, rises in torrid temperatures.  While he and Benvolio enter the first scene, Mercutio argues with Benvolio who cautions him potentously against anger:

An I were so apt to quarrel as thou art, any man should buy the fee simple of my life for an hour and a quarter. (3.1.31-32)

Nonetheless, Mercutio continues, and when he sees Tybalt, they exchange insults.  Mercutio calls him "Prince of Cats," a pejorative term and a point of mockery in the play which initiates Tybalt's aggressive action toward Mercutio.  Tybalt tells Mercutio,

You shall find me apt enough to that, sir, an you will give me occasion (3.1.41)

  To make matters worse, a well-meaning but ineffective Romeo intervenes, declaring that he has no quarrel with Tybalt, but loves him instead:

Tybalt, the reason that I have to love you

Does excuse very much the rage that is appropriate

For such a greeting.  I am not a villain

Therefore, farewell.  I see that you don't know me. (3.1.61-64)

Of course, this backfires and Tybalt ends up stabbing Mercutio.  In his mercurial personality, Mercutio changes to his typical witticisms, even as he dies when Romeo asks him about his wound:

No 'tis not so deep as a well, nor so wide

as a church door; but 'tis enough, 'twill serve.  Ask

for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man. (3.1)

After Mercutio dies, Romeo berates himself,

O sweet Juliet,

Thy beauty haath made me effeminate

And in my temper soft'ned valour's steel. (3.1.115)

Then, after Romeo avenges Mercutio's death by slaying Tybalt, says,

This day's black fate on more days doth depend;

This but begins the woes others must end....

O, I am fortune's fool! (3.1.120-138)

In the next scene, Juliet, believing that Romeo has been slain, says,

...I'll take to my wedding bed;

And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead. (3.2.141-142)

When Romeo appears, wailing and threatening to kill himself, the Nurse berides him,

Stand up.  Stand up!  Stand, and you be a man.

For Juliet's sake, for her sake, rise and stand!

Why should you fall into so deep an O?" (3.3.90-94)

As Romeo parts from Juliet on his banishment, he says,

But that a joy past joy

Calls out on me,

It were a grief to part with thee. (3.3.179-181)

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