'Romeo and Juliet' - Act 4 Key Quotations

“Stay Tybalt stay!”

“Romeo! Romeo! Romeo! I drink to thee.”

- JULIET -

CONTEXT:

Elizabethan audiences were highly superstitious - ghosts were often thought to only appear when someone had died a gruesome death = Tybalt would not look pretty!

THEMES:

Death/Mortality; Love; Free Will

LANGUAGE:

“Stay Tybalt stay!” = Juliet is worried about waking up next to a slowly decaying Tybalt, she thinks she can see his ghost.

Repetition = “Romeo! Romeo! Romeo!” - repetition of Romeo’s name gives Juliet the strength to drink the potion - shows the depth of her devotion.

“My child, my only life”

- LADY CAPULET -

“The heavens do lour upon you for some ill. Move them no more by crossing their high will.”

- FRIAR LAWRENCE -

CONTEXT:

God-fearing Protestant Elizabethan England would fear the consequences of an angry God. The Friar’s actions help Shakespeare to cast doubt on the Catholic faith (Elizabeth was a Protestant).

THEMES:

Authority (Gods); Fate

LANGUAGE:

“My child, my only life” = her only surviving child - one of the only maternal moments in the play - possessive personal pronoun ‘my’.

“The heavens do lour upon you for some ill. Move them no more by crossing their high will." = ‘lour’ powerful verb - means to scowl - ‘move them’ verb phrase - don’t anger the Gods further ‘high will’ noun phrase - Godly intentions. A bit harsh considering he knows the truth!