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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet


by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet Foolishness and Folly 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 #7

Hold thy desperate hand!
Art thou a man? Thy form cries out thou art. 
Thy tears are womanish; thy wild acts denote
The unreasonable fury of a beast.
Unseemly woman in a seeming man,
Or ill-beseeming beast in seeming both!
Thou hast amazed me. By my holy order,
I thought thy disposition better tempered.
Hast thou slain Tybalt? wilt thou slay thyself,
And slay thy lady that in thy life lives,
By doing damnèd hate upon thyself? (3.3.118-128)

Here, Friar Laurence and Juliet's Nurse prevent Romeo from committing suicide (because he's afraid Juliet hates him for killing her cousin, Tybalt). The Friar's critique of Romeo's rash and foolish behavior is successful (here anyway), but we're not sure which is more foolish—Romeo's desire to stab himself with his sword or Friar Laurence's insinuation that Romeo's emotions are "womanish" and unmanly.

Quote #8

Monday, ha ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon.
O' Thursday let it be.—O' Thursday, tell her,
She shall be married to this noble earl.—
Will you be ready? Do you like this haste?

My lord, I would that Thursday were tomorrow.
(3.4.22-25; 32)

It's not just the young who rush into things; Juliet's father makes hasty decisions, too. Here, he argues that Juliet and Paris can't be married fast enough. What happened to waiting until she finishes puberty? (Oh, quick brain snack: puberty on average happened later for people in the 16th century—and most centuries, up until the middle of the twentieth. Good nutrition and possibly other factors have lowered the age a lot.)

Quote #9

On Thursday, sir? The time is very short.

My father Capulet will have it so,
And I am nothing slow to slack his haste.

Supposedly wiser and calmer than Romeo and Juliet, Lord Capulet and Paris also make a hasty decision that results in tragedy. Guess the adults don't have an advantage here.

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