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Romeo and Juliet Exile 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 #13

Ha, banishment? Be merciful, say 'death,'
For exile hath more terror in his look,
Much more than death. Do not say 'banishment.'

Here from Verona art thou banishèd:
Be patient, for the world is broad and wide. (3.3.13-17)

While the Friar sees Romeo's exile as a good thing (he's glad Romeo hasn't been sentenced to be executed), banishment, for Romeo, is tantamount to death—actually, it's worse than death, because he'll be alive. (Chill, Romeo. Skype has made long-distance relationships way easier.)

Quote #14

O deadly sin, O rude unthankfulness!
Thy fault our law calls death, but the kind prince,
Taking thy part, hath rushed aside the law
And turned that black word 'death' to
This is dear mercy, and thou seest it not. (3.3.25-30)

Friar Laurence says that Romeo is an ingrate for not appreciating the fact that he's been exiled, not executed. Like Juliet's old Nurse (see 3.5. below) the Friar can't see things from the younger generation's perspective. (Psst. Check out the theme of "Youth" if you want to think about this generation gap some more.)

Quote #15

'Tis torture and not mercy. Heaven is here
Where Juliet lives, and every cat and dog
And little mouse, every unworthy thing,
Live here in heaven and may look on her,
But Romeo may not. More validity,
More honorable state, more courtship lives
In carrion-flies than Romeo. They my seize
On the white wonder of dear Juliet's hand
And steal immortal blessing from her lips,
Who even in pure and vestal modesty
Still blush, as thinking their own kisses sin;
But Romeo may not; he is banishèd.
Flies may do this, but I from this must fly.
They are free men, but I am banishèd.

Okay, gross. Romeo is all bummed because even "carrion-flies" can be near Juliet, while he can't. This is technically true, but … it's not really making us jealous.

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