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Romeo

Romeo and Juliet

Richard, Romeo, Juliet and the Sonnet

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Two of Shakespeare’s earliest playsRichard III and Romeo and Juliet, open with sonnets and then employ variations on the sonnet’s structure for dramatic and poetic effect, which is not surprising. At this point in Shakespeare’s life he seems to have had dual career goals. First, he wanted to make money, which he could accomplish through theatre.
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Unhappy Fortune! The Plague in the Plays

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Shakespeare killed scores of his characters — by sword, by dagger, by poison, by flame, by drowning, by hanging, by murder, by suicide, by accident — men, women, children, all ages, killed by many means, even by a bear. But the deaths of only two of his central characters can be attributed to the plague, and even then, only by proximate cause, not directly by the plague.
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Banishment: Romeo and Coriolanus

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For two of Shakespeare’s most passionate male characters, banishment holds passionately different meanings. Romeo, banished from Verona, is grief-stricken and in fear of never seeing Juliet again. For him, banishment is the equivalent of death. Coriolanus, banished from Rome, is enraged and contemptuous of the plebeians who he hopes he will never have to see again. For him, banishment is an opportunity for a new life. 
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You and Thee

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In Henry IV Part 1, in the exchange between Hotspur and Owen Glendower, about calling up devils from the vasty deep, Hotspur deliberately shifts from the word you to thee when he addresses Glendower. You was often used to convey respect while thee was used when speaking to someone of inferior rank,
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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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Tombs and Wombs

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Friar Lawrence’s rumination on soil as both a tomb and a womb works as a metaphor of one of the play’s central themes. The “misadventure’d piteous overthrows” of  Romeo and Juliet in the Capulet tomb at the end of the play gave birth to a growth of amity between their two families.
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Caves, Temples & Palaces

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Juliet’s biting reference to Romeo as “a gorgeous palace,” when she hears that Romeo has killed her cousin, contrasts with Romeo’s earlier reference to Juliet as “this holy shrine.” Both metaphors are echoed about fifteen years later near the end of Shakespeare’s career when Miranda in The Tempest speaks of Ferdinand in a similar figure of speech.
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Richard III and the Sonnet

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“Now is the winter of our discontent” is nearly as familiar as Hamlet’s, “To be, or not to be” and Mark Antony’s, “Friends, Romans, countrymen”. Not one of these three passages is a dramatic dialogue. Mark Antony addresses a large Roman crowd in an extended speech. Hamlet muses to himself in a soliloquy while we the audience listen in.
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Birds — Martial and Marital

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In Hamlet (1.1.432), a cock trumpets in the morn, a bird more fitting to the combative nature of Hamlet than the lark that heralds the morn after the first night of marital bliss in Romeo and Juliet (3.5.6).
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Sonnets in Romeo and Juliet

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Shakespeare, who had begun writing his sonnets sometime in the 1590’s, decided that the form would be useful in Romeo and Juliet. In fact, he wrote four sonnets in the play. The first, spoken by a chorus, opens Act 1. The second appears in Act 1, Scene 5, and it is dialogue spoken by Romeo and Juliet.
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Good morrow, cousin

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Benvolio
Good morrow, cousin.
Romeo
Is the day so young?
Benvolio
But new struck nine.
Romeo
Ay me, sad hours seem long.
Was that my father that went hence so fast?
Benvolio
It was. What sadness lengthens Romeo’s hours?
Romeo
Not having that which,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 163

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Spoken by:
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Figures of Speech:
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My master is the great rich Capulet

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Servingman
My master is the great rich Capulet, and, if you be not
of the house of Montagues, I pray come and crush a
cup of wine. Rest you merry.  He exits.
Benvolio
At this same ancient feast of Capulet’s
Sups the fair Rosaline whom thou so loves,
With all the admirèd beauties of Verona.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 2
Line 85

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Spoken by:
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O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you

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Mercutio
O, then I see Queen Mab hath been with you.
She is the fairies’ midwife, and she comes
In shape no bigger than an agate stone
On the forefinger of an alderman,
Drawn with a team of little atomi
Over men’s noses as they lie asleep.

True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 4
Line 58

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Spoken by:
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Themes:
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O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!

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O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear—Simili

Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.Simili

The measure done,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 5
Line 51

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If I profane with my unworthiest hand

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Romeo
If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrineMetaphor, the gentle sinOxymoron is this,
My lips, two blushing pilgrimsMetaphor, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

My lips, two blushing pilgrimsMetaphor,
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He jests at scars that never felt a wound

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He jests at scars that never felt a wound.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 1

Source Type:

Spoken by:

But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

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Romeo
But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?

It is the East, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.

See how she leans her cheek upon her hand.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 2

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Connected Notes:
You and Thee

Lady, by yonder blessèd moon I vow

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Romeo 
Lady, by yonder blessèd moon I vow,
That tips with silver all these fruit-tree tops—
Juliet
O, swear not by the moon, th’ inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 112

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How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night

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How silver-sweet sound lovers’ tongues by night,Alliteration
Like softest music to attending ears!Simile
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 2
Line 176

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Themes:
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Figures of Speech:
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These violent delights have violent ends

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Friar Lawrence
These violent delights have violent ends,
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume.Simili
The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness,
And in the taste confounds the appetite.Metaphor

Therefore love moderately: long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
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Source:
Act 2
Scene 6
Line 9

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Themes:
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Figures of Speech:
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Connected Notes:
Plagiarizing Himself