Who said, "O shut the door, and when thou hast done so, Come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help!"

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Those are the lines of Juliet in "Romeo and Juliet," Act IV, Scene 1 in which Juliet enters the cell of Friar Lawrence in her despair over her father's demands that she marry Paris.  Of course, the greatest problem--aside from Juliet's not loving Paris--is that Juliet's parents have not idea that their daughter is already married, and married to the son of their mortal enemy.

So Juliet is past hope of her parents being reconciled to the marriage of her and Romeo, she is past a cure for her dilemma since she is, in fact, already married, and she feels that these two facts make her past any hope of having a happy future.

In desperation Juliet threatens to kill herself:

Do thou but call my resolution wise [Draws a dagger]/And with this knife I'll help it presently.

However, Friar Lawrence tells Juliet that he does "spy a kind of hope," explaining that he has a plan, a plan to make her appear dead.  Paris cannot marry her if she is "dead," and the parents will mourn greatly.  When Juliet awakens and is still alive, her parents will be so grateful that they will forgive her and allow her marriage to Romeo.

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Romeo and Juliet

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