Romeo and Juliet
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.
NURSE She's dead, deceased, she's dead; alack the day!
Alack the day, she's dead, she's dead, she's dead!
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.
O lamentable day!
O woful time!
Death, that hath ta'en her hence to make me wail,
Ties up my tongue, and will not let me speak.
Juliet's family tries to describe her death in gentle terms – "an untimely frost" – to make her loss less horrific to them.
All things that we ordained 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.
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.
Come hither, man. I see that thou art poor:
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.
Such mortal drugs I have; but Mantua's law
Is death to any he that utters them.
Art thou so bare and full of wretchedness,
And fear'st 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.
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.