Where is the phrase "a rose by any other name would smell as sweet"?

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"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a well-known and often-quoted line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that is found in act 2, scene 2. While Romeo is standing in the garden, he spots Juliet looking out of her window. It is...

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"That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet" is a well-known and often-quoted line from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that is found in act 2, scene 2. While Romeo is standing in the garden, he spots Juliet looking out of her window. It is at this point that Juliet gives her famous monologue that begins with "Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo?"

Juliet is contemplating here the unfortunate nature of this budding romance. These two lovers are from two feuding houses that would never consent to the arrangement on either side. It is for this reason that Juliet wishes that her "rose" could be called by any other name, knowing that Romeo would be just as sweet were he not a Montague, and that they could be together without secrecy.

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These often-quoted lines can be found in Act II scene ii (lines 43-44).  the balcony scene, where the family names cause the first complication in their romance. Juliet (a Capulet) asks the universe why the name of something should change that thing’s qualities.  Romeo (a Montague) is standing unseen below her.  The false notion that a name prescribes the qualities of a thing then pervades the play–what looks like poison is really a sleeping potion; what looks like death is really an induced sleep; what looks like suicide is really a device to give life to their union; what goes by the name of romance is actually a tragedy brought on by names.  These famous lines have become a cliché for every occasion where the signifier (the name) does not match the signified (the object or quality.) Opponents of capital punishment, for example, claim it is murder, given a different name.

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