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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

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!

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

The quarrel is between our masters and us
their men.

'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.

The heads of the maids?

Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads.
Take it in what sense thou wilt.

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

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—

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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