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Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet

  

by William Shakespeare

 Table of Contents

Romeo and Juliet Mortality 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 #4

NURSE
She's dead, deceased. She's dead, alack the day!
LADY CAPULET
Alack the day, she's dead, she's dead, she's dead.
CAPULET
Ha! let me see her! Out, alas, she's cold.
Her blood is settled, and her joints are stiff.
Life and these lips have long been separated.
Death lies on her like an untimely frost
Upon the sweetest flower of all the field.
NURSE
O lamentable day!
LADY CAPULET
                              O woeful time!
CAPULET
Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make me wail,
Ties up my tongue and will not let me speak.
(4.5.28-38)

Juliet's family tries to describe her death in gentle terms – "an untimely frost" – to make her loss less horrific to them.

Quote #5

CAPULET
All things that we ordainèd festival
Turn from their office to black funeral;
Our instruments to melancholy bells,
Our wedding cheer to a sad burial feast,
Our solemn hymns to sullen dirges change,
Our bridal flowers serve for a buried corse,
And all things change them to the contrary.
(4.5.90-96)

Lord Capulet describes death as a kind of marriage, and a funeral as a kind of wedding. Like love and hate, these two major life events don't seem so different after all.

Quote #6

ROMEO
Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor.
                                                                He offers money.
Hold, there is forty ducats. Let me have
A dram of poison, such soon-speeding gear
As will disperse itself through all the veins,
That the life-weary taker may fall dead,
And that the trunk may be discharged of breath
As violently as hasty powder fired
Doth hurry from the fatal cannon's womb.
APOTHECARY
Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law
Is death to any he that utters them.
ROMEO
Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
And fearest to die? Famine is in thy cheeks,
Need and oppression starveth in thine eyes,
Contempt and beggary hangs upon thy back.
The world is not thy friend nor the world's law.
The world affords no law to make thee rich.
Then be not poor, but break it, and take this.
(5.1.62-78)

Romeo wants a swift and instantaneous demise. He is already so prepared for death that he sees it all around him, even personified in the character of the sickly looking Apothecary.

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