Romeo and Juliet
Romeo and Juliet Youth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: Citations follow this format: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the 2008 Norton edition of the play.
Thou canst not speak of that thou dost not feel:
Wert thou as young as I, Juliet thy love,
An hour but married, Tybalt murdered,
Doting like me and like me banished,
Then mightst thou speak, then mightst thou tear thy hair,
And fall upon the ground, as I do now,
Taking the measure of an unmade grave.
When the Romeo learns from Friar Laurence that he's been banished from Verona, he flips out and accuses Friar Laurence of being too old to understand this passionate situation. According to Romeo, if Friar Laurence were "young" and in the same situation as Romeo, he'd be "tear[ing] out [his] hair." But, again: isn't this what kids always say? (And if they do, does that make it untrue?)
God's bread! it makes me mad:
Day, night, hour, tide, time, work, play,
Alone, in company, still my care hath been
To have her match'd: and having now provided
A gentleman of noble parentage,
Of fair demesnes, youthful, and nobly train'd,
Stuff'd, as they say, with honourable parts,
Proportion'd as one's thought would wish a man;
And then to have a wretched puling fool,
A whining mammet, in her fortune's tender,
To answer 'I'll not wed; I cannot love,
I am too young; I pray you, pardon me.'
But, as you will not wed, I'll pardon you:
Graze where you will you shall not house with me
When Juliet refuses to marry Paris, Lord Capulet flips his lid. He suggests that young Juliet is a whiny ingrate, threatens to throw her out of the house, and then mocks her for pleading that she is "too young" to wed Paris. The funny thing is, when Paris first approached Capulet with a proposal to marry Juliet back in Act 1, Capulet seemed to agree that she was as little young (1.2). We should also point out that, by this point, Juliet is already married to Romeo (secretly) so, she doesn't really think she's too young to be a wife—she just uses it as an excuse not to get hitched to Paris.
An you be mine, I'll give you to my friend;
And you be not, hang, beg, starve, die in the streets,
For, by my soul, I'll ne'er acknowledge thee,
Nor what is mine shall never do thee good:
Trust to't, bethink you; I'll not be forsworn.
Think your parents are strict? In Shakespeare's day, children (especially girls) had very little control over their lives. Daughters were expected to be silent, chaste, and obedient, which is why Capulet treats Juliet like a piece of property that he can just throw out onto "the streets" when she doesn't follow his orders.