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Romeo and Juliet Art and Culture Quotes

How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition of the play.

Quote #10

O, she is rich in beauty, only poor
That, when she dies, with beauty dies her store.
Then she hath sworn that she will still live chaste?
She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste;
For beauty starved with her severity,
Cuts beauty off from all posterity. (1.1.223-228)

According to Romeo, Rosaline is beautiful, and therefore "rich" in beauty. But, because she refuses to get married and have kids, she'll die "poor" because her riches (her "beauty") will be buried with her and will therefore, "waste[d]." A similar idea occurs in Shakespeare's Sonnet 4, where Shakespeare uses a monetary metaphor to convince a good-looking young man who hoards his beauty (by not having kids) that, if he dies without producing children, his "unus'd beauty must be tomb'd with [him]."

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