Interpret and give literary devices for "This day's black fate on more days doth depend; This but begins the woe others must end." Romeo said this to Benvolio in act 3, scene 1.

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When Romeo states, "This day's black fate on more days doth depend," he could mean that future events will be greatly affected by these events that have taken (and will take) place on this day of Mercutio's death. However, I think it is more likely that he means that just how "black" today's events are will be determined by the future events that result. The import of the day's events will grow as more events unfold as a consequence. He uses imagery and metonymy when he describes fate as "black"; the color black, in Western cultures, is often associated with sadness, evil, mourning, and loss. When Romeo says, "This but begins the woe others must end," he seems to suggest that the pain and sadness begun on this day of Mercutio's death will continue for many days to come.

Of course, such a statement foreshadows all of the terrible things that will happen and continues the motif of fate that runs throughout the play. (A motif is a recurring symbol that typically leads to a theme. In this case, the theme could simply be that some things are just not meant to be.)

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*All quotes are taken from the Norton Shakespeare, based on the Oxford Edition.

Interpretation:
After Mercutio is murdered by Tybalt, Romeo is left with the sorrow of his friends' death and the knowledge that a Capulet has caused this. When Benvolio returns, Romeo is angered and distraught by the death of Mercutio. Romeo explains that the horrible fate of this day ("This day's black fate") will linger for many days to follow ("on more days doth depend"). The event of Mercutio's death begins yet another feud that someone else must end--With this statement, Romeo is saying that he will take it upon himself to make sure that Mercutio's death is avenged.

Literary Devices:
Couplet: The lines are an example of a rhyming couplet (depend/end).
Alliteration: Shakespeare employs this literary device by incorporation words with the same consonant (Days Doth Depend).
Foreshadowing: Not only is Romeo foreshadowing the death of Tybalt, but he may also be foreshadowing the tragic events that will take place between himself and Juliet.

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