In Romeo and Juliet, who says, "see what a scourge is laid upon your hate that heaven finds means to kill your joys"?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator


See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love! (5.3.309-310)
These words are pronounced by Prince Escalus, the ruler of Verona. In these lines from the final act and scene, the prince reprimands the Capulets and the Montagues for continuing their feud, a violence that has wrought violent love as "heaven" (fate) has murdered their children by means of their strong affections for each other which would not permit them to live alone. For, in her despair of becoming unable to be with Romeo, Juliet has contemplated suicide when told by her parents that she must marry Paris; then, to forestall her suicide Friar Laurence has planned her false death in order to stall for time to reach Romeo. But, as fate would have it, Mantua has been quarantined and Balthasar, Romeo's servant cannot get Friar's message to his master. Consequently, Romeo has believed Juliet truly dead when he has discovered her in the catacombs, and in despair, he has killed himself. When she has awakened, Juliet has found Romeo dead; not wishing to live without him, she has taken his dagger--"O happy dagger" and fatally stabbed herself. Thus, the deaths of Romeo and Juliet underpin the motif of violent love, one which the friar cautions against in Act II, Scene 6:
These violent delights have violent ends,
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder
Which as they kiss consume. (1.6.9-11)
Further, the prince places blame upon himself that he did not stop the feud, but by "winking at your discords too, is also punished since he has lost his "kinsmen" as they have lost their "joys." 
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Romeo and Juliet

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