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Quotes

Quote #7

FRIAR LAURENCE
So smile the heavens upon this holy act,
That after hours with sorrow chide us not!
(2.6.1)

Friar Laurence seems awfully optimistic about this secret (and possibly illegal) marriage—and pretty quick to go from "the heavens are smiling" to "A greater power than we can contradict/ Hath thwarted our intents" (5.3.8).

Quote #8

Nurse
Marry, bachelor,
Her mother is the lady of the house,
And a good lady, and a wise and virtuous
I nursed her daughter, that you talk'd withal;
I tell you, he that can lay hold of her
Shall have the chinks. (1.5.2)

When Juliet's Nurse says that any man lucky enough to marry Juliet "shall have the chinks," she means that he'll make a lot of money. Juliet's parents have plenty of dough and Juliet, an only child, will have a large dowry. In the 16th century, marriage was often seen as an economic transaction. But, as we soon learn, Romeo and Juliet don't feel this way. Keep reading…

Quote #9

JULIET
[…]
They are but beggars that can count their worth;
But my true love is grown to such excess
I cannot sum up some of half my wealth.
(2.6.2)

When Juliet rushes into Friar Laurence's cell (room) to get hitched to Romeo, she says that her love is so great that she "cannot sum up" (express or count) even "half" of her love for Romeo. What's with the money metaphor? Well, It seems like Juliet's use of an economic metaphor (her love=wealth) is Shakespeare's way of drawing our attention to the fact that Romeo and Juliet are NOT marrying for money. While many of the play's characters (the Nurse, the Capulets, Paris) see marriage as a means of securing wealth and status, Romeo and Juliet marry because they're madly in love.

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