Who says the words "parting is such sweet sorrow" in the play "Romeo and Juliet"?

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engtchr5 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This line, spoken by Juliet in Act II, scene 2 of the play, is among many of the famous lines spoken in this work -- Most people know the line, "Romeo, O Romeo, whereforeart thou, Romeo?" And despite the fact that the line is asking why Romeo has to be a Montague, some people have mistakenly assumed that Juliet is literally asking where Romeo is. That assumption would be incorrect.

Other lines of Shakespeare's have gained equal fame, whether it is the famous skull scene ("I knew him, Horatio") or the death of Hamlet (Good night, sweet prince. May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest). In the end, it remains imperative that we fully understand the character's motivation for speaking the quoted dialogue. In this case, Juliet is lamenting the fact that she and her star-crossed lover must depart from one another.

linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Juliet is the one who speaks these famous lines in Act II, scene 2, of "Romeo and Juliet":

'Tis almost morning, I would have thee gone—
And yet no farther than a wan-ton's bird,
That lets it hop a little from his hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silken thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.

I would I were thy bird.

Sweet, so would I,
Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing.
Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it be morrow. [Exit above]

See the link below for a discussion of this speech.