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Quotes

Quote #22

Holy Saint Francis, what a change is here!
Is Rosaline, whom thou didst love so dear,
So soon forsaken? young men's love then lies
Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.
(2.2.6)

Friar Laurence makes a convincing argument that Romeo's love for Juliet could nothing more than a crush. Just days ago Romeo was crying his eyes out over another woman, the unattainable Rosaline. Now, the "salt water" tears haven't even dried yet and he's talking about a new love interest.

Okay, Friar Laurence has good reason to be skeptical of Romeo's newfound "love." But, if he's so skeptical of the relationship, why does he agree to secretly marry the young couple? Well, he tells us: "For this alliance may so happy prove/ To turn your households' rancour to pure love" (2.2.9).

In other words, Friar Laurence is crossing his fingers a union between Romeo and Juliet will force the feuding families to reconcile. But good intentions aren't enough. His meddling may not be solely responsible for the tragedy, but it's at least partly responsible. At the same time, Romeo and Juliet's love does eventually bring the two families together—but only after a double suicide.

Quote #23

CAPULET
O brother Montague, give me thy hand:
This is my daughter's jointure, for no more
Can I demand.
MONTAGUE
But I can give thee more:
For I will raise her statue in pure gold;
That while Verona by that name is known,
There shall no figure at such rate be set
As that of true and faithful Juliet.
CAPULET
As rich shall Romeo's by his lady's lie;
Poor sacrifices of our enmity! (5.3.3)

After Romeo and Juliet are found dead, Montague offers to erect a "statue" of "pure gold" in Juliet's honor and Capulet promise to do the same for his dead son-in-law, Romeo. Although the young lovers' deaths unite the warring families and put an end to the feud (just as the Chorus promised back in the first Prologue), the efforts of the Capulets and the Montagues are a day late and a dollar short.

Quote #24

ROMEO
With love's light wings did I o'er-perch these walls;
For stony limits cannot hold love out,
And what love can do that dares love attempt;
Therefore thy kinsmen are no let to me.
(2.2.6)

We hear an echo of the Biblical Song of Songs here: "Many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it." Romeo just won't let up with the religious allusions—for him, love is a religious experience. (But not in the cliché way, he swears.)

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