Please explain what Romeo means in the following quote from Romeo and Juliet.Romeo-"There is thy gold - more poison to mens souls, doing more murder in this loathsome world, than these poor...

Please explain what Romeo means in the following quote from Romeo and Juliet.

Romeo-"There is thy gold - more poison to mens souls, doing more murder in this loathsome world, than these poor compounds that thoust mayst not sell".

Explain what Romeo means. Act 5 scene 1 (line 83-85).

Asked on by jennasty

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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Whenever we are trying to establish the meaning of a particular quote, it is vital to make sure that we are aware of the context of that quote, because often we cannot analyse the quote without this knowledge. This quote you have given comes from the end of Act V scene 1, when Romeo has hatched his desperate plan to be reunited with his wife and to kill himself next to her body with the poison that he has just bought from the Apothecary. The Apothecary is very nervous about selling Romeo his poison, because it is illegal for him to do so. Romeo thus reponds by giving the Apothecary his gold but then also saying that there are "worse poisons" in this world compared to the poison that the Apothecary is selling, and these "worse poisons" actually do "more murder in this loathsome world" than the Apothecary's tame creations. Romeo is refering to the capacity for evil, or the "poison" that is in each and every person, and how this is responsible for more death than any poison. This of course is something that Romeo should know, as the capacity for evil in mankind is something that has resulted in the death of his best friend, Mercutio, his own killing of Tybalt in revenge and his own banishment from Verona.

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