What is the meaning of this quote "My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late!"it is a quote from the play "Romeo and Juliet"  How would it relate to todays...

What is the meaning of this quote "My only love sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late!"

it is a quote from the play "Romeo and Juliet"  How would it relate to todays time?

Expert Answers
teachersage eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Juliet speaks here. She has just asked her nurse to identify a certain young man she finds attractive. He is attending the Capulet ball, but she doesn't know who he is. The nurse tells her that he is Romeo, of the hated house of Montague. The Capulets and the Montagues have been feuding for so long that nobody knows what their argument is about anymore, but they all know that they hate each other. 

Juliet knows she is supposed to hate any Montague. However, she has just realized the only person she loves happens to be a Montague. That's what she means when she says "My only love sprung from my only hate!" How can she love a member of a family she hates? This is what is known as a paradox or contradiction. 

When she says "too early see unknown, and too late known!" she is saying that she gazed on Romeo too long before she knew who he was to hate him now. She has discovered too late who he is. She can't switch to hating him, even if he is a Montague, because Cupid's arrow has already hit her, and she is in love. 

In modern life, we can also fall in love with a person that we later find out we have a reason to hate. An Israeli and a Palestinian could fall in love with each other, even though the two groups are feuding over the West Bank of Israel, if the two didn't grasp right away that they were supposed to be enemies. The lesson for modern life is that we should judge people for who they are individually rather than judging them based on what group they happen to come from. 

missy575 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This means that Juliet is realizing Romeo comes from the family that hater her family and whom her family hates. They have this on-going feud that was cited in the prologue that suggests it has been going on for sometime now. She hears this said from the Nurse when she is looking around the room at different guys asking who they are. This phrase comes out of her mouth rather quickly and she seemingly unintentionally reveals her love to the Nurse.

This is also important because in today's day and age, students regularly find people to date that their parents do not approve of. They might have a different belief system or they have poor behaviors in one shape or form.

nyteknight | Student

Juliet finds herself deeply in love with a young man she met at a party at her home. Surrounded by other young men, he catches her eye. Not knowing his name, she asks her nurse, the woman who essentially raised her who this stranger is. The nurse informs her that he is Romeo, the only son of the Montague family, her family's rivals.

She remarks to her nurse that her only love, her soulmate has to come from a family her family is sworn to hate. Her comment of known too late reflects her feelings that she has already fallen in love with Romeo, despite whom he is.

This relates to today because many young people find themselves attracted to others that may not be acceptable to thier family because of race, religion, ethnic background, socio-economic status or political beliefs.

Read the study guide:
Romeo and Juliet

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