Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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Please explain the following quotation from Romeo and Juliet. Who is speaking about what?   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 despisèd life closed in my breast By some vile forfeit of untimely death. But he that hath the steerage of my course, Direct my sail.

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The quote beneath the question is Romeo's last speech in Act I scene 4, before he leaves with Benvolio, Mercutio and other friends to attend the Capulet's ball. Romeo is saying this in response to Benvolio's urgings that they all hurry up in case they arrive too late. What is key to realise in this speech is that even at this early stage in the play, before he has even met Juliet, Romeo begins to show some kind of awareness of the forces of destiny and he senses that some event will happen that night at the ball that will result in "vile forfeit of untimely death." Note the following reference he makes:

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...

The "stars" were considered to be very important in...

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