Romeo and Juliet

Character and Theme quotes and analysis (again, cause the other flashcards were a bit messed up)

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Act 1, Scene 2 - starts the play with conflict: "Draw if you be men"


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Prince Escales

Throw” “Hear” Uses the imperative.

Uses strong metaphors: “purple fountains issuing from your veins”Prepared to use violence for the greater good/peace.

“Disturb the streets again, your lives with pay the forfeit of the peace”


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Love for Rosaline

Mixes love and violence “She’ll not be hit with cupid’s arrow”, “O brawling love“.

Melodramatic “O teach me how I should forget to think”

Oxymorons, Courtly Lover, “O heavy lightness”

“What fray was here? / Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.”

“I ne’er saw true beauty till this night”

Quickly forgets about Rosaline.


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Share iambic pentameter with Romeo (shows closeness) “Good morrow cousin/Is the day so young?”

Tries to assert authority like the prince “Or else depart” but the plot shows the powerfulness of love and conflict, the peaceful Benvolio doesn’t have authority over his friends. This is also shown because he doesn’t say much when he’s around Mercutio.


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“My will to her consent is but a part”

While Romeo should be ignored to keep the peace “shall be endured” he is rude and forceful towards Tybalt. “for shame/I’ll make you quiet”

“Unworthy” “Baggage” “A disobedient wretch”

“Death lies on her like an untimely frost”

“Can I demand/But I can give thee more” In the last scene Capulet and Montague share iambic pentameter showing they have forgiven one another, but at the cost of their children’s lives.

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Presented at Juliet’s ‘death’ as self-centred, caring only for his own happiness. “Have I thought long to see this morning’s face/and doth it give me such a sight as this”.

“Some shall be pardon’d, and some punished”

“For never was a story of more woe/than this of Juliet and her Romeo.”

Prince ends the play (rhyming couplet) as an impartial figure of authority. A sad ending but leaves the audience feeling reflective?


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Close to Juliet “Lamb” and “Ladybird”

Reveals their identities to one another. A go between “His name is Romeo, and a Montague”

Tries to give Romeo a good impression “No truly sir, not a penny” and malapropisms e.g. “sententious” instead of “sentence” and “confidence” instead of “conference”

Approves of Paris “he's a man of wax.”

Compliments Romeo “Honest” “Courteous” “kind” and “handsome” Then criticises Romeo compared to Paris “Romeo’s a dishclout to him”

“O Lamentable day/O woeful time”

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“Madam […] what is your will” Not as close as the Nurse.

“It is an honour that I dream not of”

Uses highly figurative language in a long soliloquy, shows she is the heroine and also a contrast to the action scene that precedes it, E.G. “Come, Gentle night” and “Strange love grow bold”

Juliet is torn between grief for Tybalt and relief that Romeo is still alive “Foolish tears […] your tributary drops belong to woe, which you mistaking offer up to joy”

Feels betrayed by the Nurse“Ancient Damnation”


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On death, repetition: “A plague a’both your houses”

Still punning in death, craves attention “You shall find me a grave man”


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Before going to the masked ball, Romeo predicts misfortune. “T’is no wit to go” “By some vile forfeit of untimely death”

At Mercutio’s death, Romeo sees that the fate they predicted before the ball is being realised: “This begins the woe other must end”

Romeo feels powerless against fate “O, I am fortune’s fool”Fate is toying with him.

“I defy you, stars”Wants to go against fate but his destiny as already been sealed, his death foreshadowed in the prologue. Ironic.


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With Rosaline, Romeo is very passive “Oh teach me how to forget to think” whereas with Juliet he is more proactive. “Shall I hear more or shall I speak at this”

Not grateful that the prince was lenient “be merciful, say ‘death’”

Disbelief that he is exiled. Repetition of “Banished”

He offers to stab himself:

Romeo shows remorse after killing Paris “I’ll bury thee in a triumphant grave”

He also regrets killing Tybalt “Forgive me, cousin”


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Romeo and Juliet's love

Juliet thinks it is too quick “too rash, too unadvis’d, too sudden”

Juliet proposed marriage “thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow”


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Light and Dark

Romeo associates night with depression “Make himself and artificial night”

Day is good and night is bad “The grey-ey’d morn smiles on the frowning night”

The new day makes them more and more unhappy. “More light and light, more dark and dark our woes”

Juliet is wishing her life away, unaware of her ominous fate “so tedious is this day.”


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Friar Lawrence (1)

“Virtue itself turns vice, being misapplied, and vice sometime by action dignified”

Good intentions can have bad results.

Share’s iambic pentameter with Romeo “and bad’st me bury love/not in a grave”

Agrees to marry them “to turn your households’ rancour to pure love”

“this alliance may so happy prove”

Doesn’t think Romeo is in true love “young men's love then lies/Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes.”


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Friar Lawrence (2)

Thinks Romeo is ungrateful that he would rather death than exile. Shows friar religious and sensible. “O rude unthankfulness”

Turns to Friar Lawrence when he is unsure about what to do. “Father, what news? What is the Prince’s doom?” “Hast thou no letters to me from the Friar?”

Explains the plan to Juliet with horrific imagery implying danger. “Like Death when he shuts up the day of life”

Shares iambic pentameter with Balthasar. Not necessarily close but united in love and worry for Romeo “One that you love/who is it/Romeo”

“Come go, good Juliet, I dare no longer stay”

Panicked à Not iambic pentameter. Selfish. Contradicts the integrity we naturally associate with a religious man.


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Paul Dutton

A useful guide to the characters in the play which contains relevant quotes.  Good for visual learners. 

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