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Quotes

Quote #7

MERCUTIO
Why, is not this better now than groaning for love?
now art thou sociable, now art thou Romeo; now art
thou what thou art, by art as well as by nature:
for this drivelling love is like a great natural,
that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole.
(2.4.20)

Translation: being in love makes Romeo seem like a "natural," i.e. someone who's mentally challenged, and runs around trying to hide a toy. Hm. Is Mercutio a little jealous of Juliet? Is he worried that she's going to break up the band, Yoko-style?

Quote #8

ROMEO
This gentleman, the prince's near ally,
My very friend, hath got his mortal hurt
In my behalf; my reputation stain'd
With Tybalt's slander,--Tybalt, that an hour
Hath been my kinsman! O sweet Juliet,
Thy beauty hath made me effeminate
And in my temper soften'd valour's steel!
(3.1.7)

Brain snack: for centuries, "effeminate" didn't just mean that you were acting like a woman; it meant that you liked women too much. And hanging around sucking up to women would make you womanly—just like catching cooties.

Quote #9

ROMEO
Alive, in triumph! and Mercutio slain!
Away to heaven, respective lenity,
And fire-eyed fury be my conduct now!
Now, Tybalt, take the villain back again,
That late thou gavest me; for Mercutio's soul
Is but a little way above our heads,
Staying for thine to keep him company:
Either thou, or I, or both, must go with him.
(3.1.9)

Romeo reasserts his masculinity by fighting Tybalt. He also avenges the death of his best friend, which makes us wonder whether or not Juliet is the most important person in Romeo's life.

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