In "Romeo and Juliet," explain what Juliet says about names?

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Jamie Wheeler eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act II, Juliet is unaccepting of her family's history of animosity towards one another. Her father knows nothing of Romeo personally; his grudge is against the family in general. Juliet thinks this is unfair. In 2.2.40-55, Juliet explains her extreme frustration:

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

In other words, you can call a rose a skunkweed and that does not change its basic nature. A foot does not cease to act as a foot if one decides to call it a hand. Juliet, though she probably knows it is futile, asks Romeo to drop his name and its troubled history so that they can be together.

jess1999 | Student

In Romeo and Juliet , Juliet basically say that names are just names . So basically that names don't show an object's true nature . In her monologue Juliet gave an example , she said that you're able to call a rose any other names and it would still have the same features .