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Prince Escalus

Romeo and Juliet

A Plague and a Scourge

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Mercutio’s curse, “A plague o’ both your houses!” is fulfilled, although not literally. Despite the numerous ways scores of characters die in Shakespeare’s plays, no one in this play or any other Shakespeare play dies of the plague. But the plague is the proximate cause of Romeo’s and Juliet’s deaths.  When Friar Lawrence sends Friar John to deliver a letter to Romeo telling him of Juliet’s fake death,
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Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace

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Rebellious subjects, enemies to peace,
Profaners of this neighbor-stainèd steel—
Will they not hear?—What ho! You men, you beasts,
That quench the fire of your pernicious rage
With purple fountains issuing from your veins:

Three civil brawls bred of an airy word
By thee, old Capulet, and Montague,
Have thrice disturbed the quiet of our streets

On pain of torture,
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Act 1
Scene 1
Line 83

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Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!

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Where be these enemies? Capulet! Montague!
See what a scourge is laid upon your hate,
That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love.Paradox
And I for winking at your discords too
Have lost a brace of kinsmen. All are punish’d.
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Act 5
Scene 3
Line 301

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Connected Notes:
A Plague and a Scourge, Unhappy Fortune! The Plague in the Plays

A glooming peace this morning with it brings

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A glooming peace this morning with it brings,Metaphor & Hyperbaton
The sun, for sorrow, will not show his head.Personification and Alliteration
Go hence to have more talk of these sad things;
Some shall be pardon’d, and some punishèd:Alliteration & Ellipsis
For never was a story of more woeEllipsis
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
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