'Romeo and Juliet' - Act 3 Key Quotations

"This day's black fate"

- ROMEO -

CONTEXT:

Romeo's best friend, Mercutio, has been killed by Tybalt.

THEMES:

Fate; Death

LANGUAGE:

Colour imagery/foreshadowing = "black fate" is associated with death and those which are to come.

“And if we meet we shall not ‘scape a brawl, for now these hot days is the mad blood stirring”

- BENVOLIO -

CONTEXT:

A fight would be deemed as unavoidable because Tybalt has issued a challenge to Romeo’s house. To an Elizabethan audience, it would be a disgrace to refuse and Romeo would lose honour.

THEMES:

Family honour, Hate, Death/Mortality

LANGUAGE:

Pathetic fallacy = the "hot days" reflects the hot-headedness of members of each family.

Adjective = ‘mad’ - uncontrollable rage.

"Blood" has connotations of family and loyalty.

'Benvolio' literally means "good will" - he is the peacekeeper.

“Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man” ... “A plague on both your houses! They have made worms meat of me”

- MERCUTIO -

CONTEXT:

Being able to engage in ‘word play’ = great wit and intelligence. Mercutio was much more sophisticated than a typical Elizabethan clown.

THEMES:

Death; Family

LANGUAGE:

Exclamative = "A plague on both you houses!" shows that Mercutio does not blame the gods or fate for his death - he blames the two families.

Puns = he uses puns as he is dying - "grave" - an indicator of his comedic genius.

“O sweet Juliet, thy beauty hath made me effeminate” ... "O I AM FORTUNE’S FOOL"

- ROMEO -

CONTEXT:

Masculine pride was intrinsically linked to status and honour - to be ‘womanish’ was to be seen as weak both physically and emotionally (as the females of the era were perceived).

THEMES:

Love vs. Death; Fate; Honour

LANGUAGE:

Alliteration = "fortune's fool" suggests that Romeo feels his destiny will not be a good one, and that fortune has played him for a fool. He is blaming fate for his misfortune.

Powerful adjective = "effeminate" shows Romeo is ‘unmanned’ by his love for Juliet, emphasised by the adjective ‘sweet’.

"hath Romeo slain himself?"

“Beautiful tyrant”

“My heart, poor bankrupt”

“And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead”

- JULIET -

CONTEXT:

Perhaps even ‘true’ love is intrinsically linked to money due to the financial advantages of a good match.

THEMES:

Death; Love

LANGUAGE:

Question = “hath Romeo slain himself?” keeps the audience in suspense.

“My heart, poor bankrupt” = conveys the idea that love is money.

Rhyming couplets = “And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead” - Juliet turns to rhyming couplets here to mark her change from contemplation to action.

Oxymoron = "beautiful tyrant" Juliet is conflicted between anger over her cousin’s death and her love for Romeo.

“Doth she think me an old murderer, now I have stained the childhood of our joy”

“Wilt thou slay thyself, and slay thy lady that in thy life lives”

- ROMEO -

CONTEXT:

Suicide was considered noble in the growing renaissance movement.

THEMES:

Love vs. Death; Youth vs. Age

LANGUAGE:

“Doth she think me an old murderer, now I have stained the childhood of our joy” = Antithesis of old and childhood impactful here. He has taken Juliet’s joy/innocence, he is tainted.

“Wilt thou slay thyself, and slay thy lady that in thy life lives” = lots of foreshadowing here - Juliet cannot live without Romeo - the Friar berates Romeo for selfishness in saying he’ll kill himself - repetition of ‘slay’ forces Romeo to consider his plans.

“More light and light, more dark and dark our woes”

- ROMEO -

“Indeed, I shall never be satisfied with Romeo till I behold him - dead - is my poor heart”

- JULIET - 

CONTEXT:

Shakespeare uses night time to symbolise the passing of time - the night time events enable the audience to follow the timescale of the play. Also, Elizabethan culture often connected the moon with images of Diana, the goddess of virginity.

THEMES:

Love; Light vs. Dark; Fate

LANGUAGE:

Paradoxical = “More light and light, more dark and dark our woes” - darkness is their friend, daytime their enemy.

Foreshadowing = Juliet is talking to Lady Capulet about Tybalt’s death at Romeo’s hands. Juliet cleverly speaks the truth here whilst appearing to say that she wants Romeo dead - word play.

“I would the fool were married to her grave.”

- LADY CAPULET -

“And you be mine, I’ll give you to my friend and you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets.”

- CAPULET -

“Your first is dead, or’t were as good he were.”

- NURSE-

“Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.”

- JULIET -

CONTEXT:

Patriarchal power - if a wealthy woman were to be disowned, she would struggle to survive in Elizabethan society.

THEMES:

Free Will; Authority; Death; Loyalty and Honour

LANGUAGE:

“I would the fool were married to her grave” - ‘fool’ abstract noun - insulting, evidence of poor maternal bond - Juliet is married to death reiterated - dramatic irony

“And you be mine" = ‘mine’ possessive, ‘give’ dismissive verb - like an object, list of terrible outcomes if he is disobeyed.

“Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain” = This betrayal of trust leads Juliet to cut the Nurse out from her confidence from this point.