What Is The Meaning Of The Phrase "thou Art Wedded To Calamity”?

In Romeo and Juliet, who says, "Affliction is enamored of thy parts, wedded to calamity"?  Who is it said to, and what does it mean?

Expert Answers
sfwriter eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This is said by Friar Lawrence to Romeo, in Act III, Scene iii.  Romeo has fled to the friar's cell, directly after killing Tybalt and witnessing the death of Mercutio.  Romeo's dear friend Mercutio was just killed by Tybalt, who is Romeo's new wife's cousin.  This same man, Tybalt, Romeo has just killed.  Needless to say Romeo is upset, and in serious trouble with the Prince of the city of Verona.

FRIAR: Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man.
Affliction is enamour’d of thy parts,
And thou art wedded to calamity.
ROM: Father, what news? What is the Prince's doom?
What sorrow craves acquaintance at my hand(5)
That I yet know not?
FRIAR: Too familiar
Is my dear son with such sour company.
I bring thee tidings of the Prince's doom.
ROM: What less than doomsday is the Prince's doom?(10)
FRIAR: A gentler judgment vanish'd from his lips— Not body's death, but body's banishment.

"Affliction is enamored of thy parts" is a metaphor and a personification.  Affliction, that is, the state of suffering, is personified, and made to seem like a human being who can have desires.  Then the friar says that this personified "affliction" is enamored -- in love with -- Romeo's parts.  It's a fancy way of saying that Romeo is really prone to having very bad things happen to him.  The metaphor of visual desire for another human being is used by the friar, perhaps uncouthly but certanly aptly, because Romeo was just married to Juliet that very day.  Hours before Romeo wedded his true love, who is "enamored of his parts" and he of hers.  But now, instead of embracing his new wife, he is embracing affliction.

"And thou art wedded to calamity" continues the metaphor.  Romeo cannot seem to escape calamities, and the fact that the feud between the Capulets has come to a head on this, Romeo and Juliet's wedding day, makes the pun all the more biting.  Friar Lawrence is saying that Romeo has truly messed up this time, and that the Prince is giving him a light sentence of banishment from the city (line 12).  Romeo, of course, is having none of it, and is bewailing the fact that he will be separated from Juliet.  The Friar's words are prophetic, for nothing will go right for Romeo from this point onward.


Noelle Thompson eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The quote you refer to is spoken by Friar Laurence to Romeo after he has slain Tybalt and been banished.  These are some of the first words spoken in Act 3, Scene 3:

Romeo, come forth; come forth, thou fearful man. / Affliction is enamored of thy parts, / And thou art wedded to calamity. (3.3.1-4)

In other words, Friar Laurence is saying that hardship seems to love Romeo, as it always seems to follow him around, and that Romeo isn't really married to Juliet, he's married to "calamity" (again, terrible hardship).  Some interesting figurative language in the form of metaphor in order to explain how Romeo can't catch a break.  This makes sense when one considers that Romeo first falls in love with the daughter of his mortal enemy, then slays her cousin, and finally is banished from Verona (let alone what happens at the END).  Yes, I would say that affliction is certainly enamored of Romeo's parts.

cburr eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The correct quote is:

Affliction is enamour'd of thy parts,
And thou art wedded to calamity.

Friar Lawrence says this to Romeo, in Act III, Scene 3.  In the previous scenes of this Act, Tybalt killed Mercutio and Romeo then killed Tybalt.  Romeo has been banished by the Prince, although he doesn't know it yet.

One theme of the play is the role of fate in the characters' lives.  Clearly, this statement ties in with that.  Basically, though, the Friar is just saying you have really crappy luck.

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Romeo and Juliet

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