What is evidence from the party scene that Romeo and Juliet have a strong, intense, and immediate connection? 

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huntress eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Our first indication that Romeo is smitten are his lines when he first spies Juliet. Remember, he is only at the party because Mercutio has pushed him to come so as to see his beloved Rosaline in comparison to other women so he can finally see that she pales in comparison to the other beauties, since Romeo has been pining over the fact that she won't have him. But as soon as Romeo sees Juliet, he almost breaks into song, ending his rant with the immortal lines: "Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight! / For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." This is the epitome of love at first sight. 

When he gets close to her, he takes her hand and says, "If I profane with my unworthiest hand / This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: / My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand / To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss." In other words, he says he is unworthy to touch her (although he clearly does), comparing her to a "holy shrine," but he offers to kiss her where he's touched her to smooth the roughness of his touch. 

He's pretty forward for someone she's never met, but she responds, "You do wrong your hand too much," which immediately suggests that she doesn't find it rough at all. She's flirting right back, instantly. At the same time, she's building up to the idea that if she is a holy shrine (as Romeo has said) and he is touching it in devotion, then he should remain holy by only "kissing" by holding her hand. 

Romeo protests that saints and "holy palmers" (pilgrims) also have lips (hint, hint, nudge, nudge), and she instantly responds that lips are to be used in prayer. He essentially responds that he only prays that he may kiss her (and he does). She responds, "Then have from my lips the sin that they have took"; that is, "Kiss me again." 

Hot stuff. 

donnefan | Student

Our first indication that Romeo and Juliet have a strong, intense and immediate connection lies in the fact that Shakespeare constructs the first words that pass between them on meeting in the structure of a sonnet, a poetic form traditionally associated with love poetry, so we know straight away Romeo and Juliet are destined to be lovers. Their first fourteen lines of conversation comprise the rhythm (the iambic pentameter customary in Shakespeare's plays anyway) and rhyme pattern (abab cdcd {cbcb, in fact} efef gg) of an English, or Shakespearean sonnet, a form famously popularised by Shakespeare himself.

Romeo's apology for his bold approach in seizing Juliet's hand takes up the first quatrain and her reassuring reply takes up the second. This allocation of equal quatrains and a line apiece - her Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake and his Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take - in the final, decisive couplet of the sonnet indicates that there will be equal strength of feeling and partnership between them; they are well matched.

The intense physical attraction between them is quickly shown: despite his reservations about his unworthiest hand in touching her so soon, he is already prepared to kiss her too: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand / To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss. She is immediately receptive, chiding him that he denigrates his hand too much. When, thus encouraged, he pushes his luck and prays to be allowed to kiss her, although she seems initially coy and teases him that lips are for use in prayer, she soon assures him that if she is, by his comparison, a statue of a saint who can grant for prayers' sake that such Saints do not move: she will stay put and be kissed.

However, the attraction is not merely physical: Shakespeare shows by Juliet's picking up Romeo's religious jargon that this is a couple with an immediate intellectual connection. Romeo's metaphorical image of Juliet as a statue of a saint in this holy shrine and his lips as two blushing pilgrims is one she instantly understands. He implies that he adores her, worships her, that she is exceptionally good, special, superior to him if touching her would be to profane her -  a desecration. Her addressing him immediately as Good pilgrim is a continuation of this religious jargon, extending the metaphor, showing that the couple has an innate understanding from the outset of their relationship; they are on the same wavelength!

Juliet, in fact, develops Romeo's image of her as a statue of a saint to encourage both their physical and intellectual attraction to one another. Far from being offended at what he fears is a rough touch of his hand, she flirtatiously points out that pilgrims, including those who are holy palmers from their travels to the holy land, customarily lay reverent hands upon the statues of saints in shrines: this is mannerly devotion, the proper way, she teases him, to worship and pray. She plays up to his idea of her as a saint by suggesting the touching of hands, palm to palm, is a gesture of prayer, not improper, therefore entirely appropriate if she accepts this physical advance. When he hints that statues have sculpted lips as well as hands and therefore, by the same token, if saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, she might let lips do what hands do, she acknowledges that saints have the power to grant for prayers' sake the wishes of a pilgrim; she will answer his prayer, lest his faith in her turn to despair.

In summary, Shakespeare's deployment of sonnet structure and the religious jargon which humorously extends the initial holy shrine metaphor combine to illustrate the strong physical attraction, intellectual parity and mutual understanding which are the basis on which Romeo's and Juliet's relationship is founded.  

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Romeo and Juliet

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