| Quote #1
Thus stands it with me: upon a true contract
The nature of Claudio and Juliet's relationship status is pretty fuzzy. When Claudio admits he went to bed with Juliet, he claims, "she is fast my wife, / Save that we do the denunciation lack / Of outward order." Some literary critics think that Claudio and Juliet have made a binding marriage contract but haven't had a religious ceremony (required by the Church) to seal the deal. In seventeenth-century England, a marriage contract was considered legal under common law if the bride and groom got together in front of witnesses and said "I marry you."
Why does any of this matter? Because Claudio has been sentenced to death for sleeping with Juliet out of wedlock.
| Quote #2
this we came not to,
Claudio claims that he and Juliet haven't yet made a public announcement of their betrothal because they were waiting for Juliet's relatives to cough up a dowry. (A dowry is the money, goods, and/or land that a woman brings to the marriage – it becomes her husband's property once the couple is married.)
| Quote #3
She should this Angelo have married; was affianced
It turns out that Angelo (the guy who sentences Claudio to death for fornicating with Juliet) was once engaged to Mariana. What's interesting is that Angelo broke off the engagement when Mariana's dowry was lost at sea. A woman's dowry is just as important to Angelo as it is to Claudio. The difference, however, between the two men is that Claudio doesn't abandon Juliet because she didn't bring enough money to the relationship.