At the end of Romeo and Juliet, the Prince said some should be pardoned and some punished.  Who should be punished and why?"A glooming peace this morning with it brings;The sun, for...

At the end of Romeo and Juliet, the Prince said some should be pardoned and some punished.  Who should be punished and why?

"A glooming peace this morning with it brings;
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head:
Go hence, to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon'd, and some punished:
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo."

Expert Answers
bmadnick eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Prince Escalus, after hearing the complete story of what happened, berates the parents of Romeo and Juliet when he says, "See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,/That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!/And I, for winking at your discords too,/Have lost a brace of kinsmen:--all are punish'd." The Prince says the feud between the families caused the deaths, but he's also responsible because he allowed it to continue for so long that he ended up losing those related to him, such as Mercutio.

When he says that some people will be pardoned, the Prince is referring to Friar Laurence, the Nurse, and any other people who helped Romeo and Juliet behind their parents' backs. The Prince doesn't legally punish the Friar because he reads Romeo's letter that confirms the Friar's story. He also feels the Friar's actions were a result of a higher purpose in hoping to stop the feud by marrying Romeo and Juliet. When he says some are punished, Prince Escalus is referring to all of the members of the families who have perpetuated the hate and violence through the years, continuing the feud. The punishment of the families is the loss of their only children. The Prince wants to finally end the violence and the fighting.

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Romeo and Juliet

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