'Romeo and Juliet' - Act 3 Key Quotations
"This day's black fate"
- ROMEO -
Romeo's best friend, Mercutio, has been killed by Tybalt.
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 -
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.
Family honour, Hate, Death/Mortality
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 -
Being able to engage in ‘word play’ = great wit and intelligence. Mercutio was much more sophisticated than a typical Elizabethan clown.
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 -
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).
Love vs. Death; Fate; Honour
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?"
“My heart, poor bankrupt”
“And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead”
- JULIET -
Perhaps even ‘true’ love is intrinsically linked to money due to the financial advantages of a good match.
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 -
Suicide was considered noble in the growing renaissance movement.
Love vs. Death; Youth vs. Age
“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 -
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.
Love; Light vs. Dark; Fate
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.”
“Thou and my bosom henceforth shall be twain.”
- JULIET -
Patriarchal power - if a wealthy woman were to be disowned, she would struggle to survive in Elizabethan society.
Free Will; Authority; Death; Loyalty and Honour
“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.