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Romeo and Juliet Sex 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 #10

JULIET
Take up those cords.
                                 The Nurse picks up the rope ladder.
                                  Poor ropes, you are beguiled,
Both you and I, for Romeo is exiled.
He made you for a highway to my bed,
But I, a maid, die maiden-widowèd.
Come, cords—come, nurse. I'll to my wedding bed,
And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!
(3.2.144-150)

Right after Juliet hears that Romeo is exiled, she assumes that she's never going to get to have sex—which, apparently, is a fate worse than death. The literal meaning here is that "death"—i.e., the rotting of her body—will break her hymen. Nice image, right?

Quote #11

GREGORY
The quarrel is between our masters and us
their men.

SAMPSON
'Tis all one. I will show myself a tyrant.
When I have fought with the men, I will be civil
with the maids; I will cut off their heads.

GREGORY
The heads of the maids?

SAMPSON
Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads.
Take it in what sense thou wilt.
(1.1.20-27)

Sampson and Gregory might as well be scrawling this on a bathroom door: Sampson crudely puns on the term "maidenhead" (virginity) by equating sword fighting with rape.

Quote #12

MERCUTIO
This [Queen Mab] is the hag, when maids lie on their backs,
That presses them and learns them first to bear,
Making them women of good carriage.
This is she—
(1.4.97-100)

Mercutio doesn't see much to laugh about. To him, sex is almost literally madness—and an oppressive one, like Queen Mab—the love-fairy—weighing down virgins while they sleep.

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