How much do the lovers say their love has grown?

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davmor1973 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

It's Act II Scene VI, and Romeo and Juliet, the star-crossed lovers, are finally to be married by Friar Lawrence in his cell. The good friar sees the forthcoming marriage as a golden opportunity to put an end to the seemingly never-ending war between the Montangues and the Capulets.

But more than anything else, this will be a love match, and the love between Romeo and Juliet has grown so much that neither is able to express it in words. Romeo tries his best, but can't, and so asks his bride to try and articulate how they both feel:

"Ah, Juliet, if the measure of thy joy
Be heaped like mine, and that thy skill be more
To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath
This neighbor air, and let rich music’s tongue
Unfold the imagined happiness that both
Receive in either by this dear encounter."
But Juliet is no more equal to the challenge than Romeo:
"Conceit, more rich in matter than in words,
Brags of his substance, not of ornament.
They are but beggars that can count their worth.
But my true love is grown to such excess
I cannot sum up sum of half my wealth."
What she means is that the enormous love that Romeo and Juliet share is richer than any word could possibly suggest. One's true worth cannot be counted; anyone who claims to be able to do so is poor. Juliet's love for Romeo has made her so rich that she cannot even begin to count half the wealth such love has brought.