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Romeo

Romeo and Juliet

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. Richard, however,
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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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Ay me, sad hours seem long.

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Ay me, sad hours seem long.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 138

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Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love

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Here’s much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness, serious vanity,
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms,
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health,
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 152

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A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit

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Benvolio
A right fair mark, fair coz, is soonest hit.
Romeo
Well in that hit you miss. She’ll not be hit
With Cupid’s arrow. She hath Dian’s wit,
And, in strong proof of chastity well armed,
From love’s weak childish bow she lives uncharmed.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 215

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He that is strooken blind cannot forget

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He that is strooken blind cannot forget
The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 1
Line 241

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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.
Juliet
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much,
Which mannerly devotion shows in this:
For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch,
And palm to palm is holy palmers' kissAntanaclesis or Paronomasia.
Romeo
Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?
Juliet
Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in pray'r.
Romeo
O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do,
They pray—grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.
Juliet
Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake.
Romeo
Then move not while my prayer's effect I take.
(Kisses her)
Thus from my lips, by thine, my sin is purg'd.
Juliet
Then have my lips the sin that they have took.
Romeo
Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urg'd!

Source:
Act 1
Scene 5
Line 104

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Connected Notes:
Sonnets in Romeo and Juliet, Caves, Temples & Palaces

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

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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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Figures of Speech:
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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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