Romeo and Juliet

Juliet Character Analysis

Read our modern English translation.
One of the protagonists of the play, along with Romeo. She is the female heir to the dynasty of House Capulet, which is in a long-standing feud with House Montague. At only 13, Juliet finds herself pulled from the cocoon of childhood when her mother, Lady Capulet, informs her that she’s of marriageable age and that the wealthy, handsome count Paris has set his sights on her. Juliet is reluctant to start thinking about love, and frequently clashes with her overbearing parents as they try to arrange a socially and monetarily fortuitous match for her. But when she meets Romeo, whom she does not realize is a member of House Montague, her family’s enemy, she is struck by desire. Even after she learns Romeo’s true identity, she continues pining for him, and when she realizes that he feels the same way, she demands he swear his love to her or leave her alone forever. Romeo suggests that the two of them marry hastily, and Juliet accepts his proposal—in spite of (or perhaps because of) the feud between their houses. Juliet is, throughout the play, torn between her perceived duty to her family and her love for Romeo. Her burgeoning sexuality and desire for new experiences outside of the insular world of her family’s obsession with respectability and gentility drive her into Romeo’s arms, and lead her to take serious emotional and physical risks in pursuit of a life with him. In order to avoid marrying Paris, Friar Laurence helps Juliet come up with a plan to fake her own death using a special potion so that she will be buried in her family’s tomb and then excavated to be reunited with Romeo. However, the plan goes awry when, upon seeing Juliet’s “dead” body, Romeo kills himself in her tomb. As a young woman, Juliet knows she has limited options, and her choice to take her own life at the end of the play—often attributed to her desire to follow Romeo into death—may actually have more to do with her confusion, shame, and fear about her social standing in the wake of Romeo’s demise. When Friar Laurence suggests Juliet live out the rest of her days in a nunnery, she finds herself torn between facing the chaos and destruction she’s caused through her impulsiveness by dealing with the consequences outright, or living a life of shame and obfuscation, hidden away from the only world she’s ever known. Romantic yet grounded, introspective yet impulsive, and determined to be the master of her own destiny—even if that destiny is death—Juliet tests the limits of love, fate, duty, and independence throughout the play.

Juliet Quotes in Romeo and Juliet

The Romeo and Juliet quotes below are all either spoken by Juliet or refer to Juliet. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Simon & Schuster edition of Romeo and Juliet published in 2004.
Prologue Quotes

Two households, both alike in dignity,
In fair Verona, where we lay our scene,
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes,
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows,
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.
The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love,
And the continuance of their parents' rage,
Which, but their children's end, nought could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage;
The which if you with patient ears attend,
What here shall miss, our toil shall strive to mend.

Related Characters: The Chorus (speaker), Romeo, Juliet
Page Number: Prologue, Lines 1-14
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first created;
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!

Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet, Benvolio, Rosaline
Page Number: 1.1.181-184
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 1, Scene 5 Quotes

Oh, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear,
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.
The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessèd my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight!
For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night.

Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet, Rosaline
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 1.5.51-60
Explanation and Analysis:
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You kiss by th’ book.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 1.5.122
Explanation and Analysis:
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My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 1.5.152-153
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 2, Scene 2 Quotes

But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun!

Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 2.2.2-3
Explanation and Analysis:
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O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?
Deny thy father and refuse thy name;
Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
And I'll no longer be a Capulet.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 2.2.36-39
Explanation and Analysis:
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'Tis but thy name that is my enemy; —
Thou art thyself though, not a Montague.
What's Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? That which we call a rose,
By any other word would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title: — Romeo, doff thy name;
And for thy name, which is no part of thee,
Take all myself.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 2.2.41-52
Explanation and Analysis:
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I take thee at thy word:
Call me but love, and I'll be new baptis'd;
Henceforth I never will be Romeo.

Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet
Page Number: 2.2.53-55
Explanation and Analysis:
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O, swear not by the moon, the inconstant moon,
That monthly changes in her circled orb,
Lest that thy love prove likewise variable.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 2.2.114-116
Explanation and Analysis:
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Good-night, good-night! Parting is such sweet sorrow
That I shall say good-night till it be morrow.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 2.2.199-201
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

Come, gentle night, — come, loving black brow'd night,
Give me my Romeo; and when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of Heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 3.2.21-27
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 3, Scene 5 Quotes

Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day.
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierc'd the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yond pomegranate tree.
Believe me love, it was the nightingale.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 3.5.1-5
Explanation and Analysis:
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Is there no pity sitting in the clouds
That sees into the bottom of my grief?
O sweet my mother, cast me not away!
Delay this marriage for a month, a week,
Or if you do not, make the bridal bed
In that dim monument where Tybalt lies.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Lady Capulet, Tybalt
Page Number: 3.5.208-213
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

Or bid me go into a new-made grave,
And hide me with a dead man in his shroud -
Things that, to hear them told, have made me tremble -
And I will do it without fear or doubt,
To live an unstain'd wife to my sweet love.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Friar Laurence, Paris
Page Number: 4.1.85-90
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5, Scene 1 Quotes

Then I defy you, stars!

Related Characters: Romeo (speaker), Juliet
Related Symbols: Light/Dark and Day/Night
Page Number: 5.1.25
Explanation and Analysis:
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Act 5, Scene 3 Quotes

Yea, noise, then I'll be brief;
O, happy dagger!
This is thy sheath; there rest, and let me die.

Related Characters: Juliet (speaker), Romeo
Page Number: 5.3.174-175
Explanation and Analysis:
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For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.

Related Characters: Prince Escalus (speaker), Romeo, Juliet
Page Number: 5.3.119-120
Explanation and Analysis:
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Juliet Character Timeline in Romeo and Juliet

The timeline below shows where the character Juliet appears in Romeo and Juliet. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
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...if the man has thought any more about his “suit”—Paris wants to marry Capulet’s daughter, Juliet. Capulet, however, believes that 13-year-old Juliet is too young to be a bride. He tells... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 3
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At the Capulet house, Lady Capulet asks Juliet’s nurse to call for Juliet. Juliet enters and asks her mother what she wants. Lady... (full context)
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The nurse says one last thing—that if she lives long enough to see Juliet married, she will die a happy woman. Lady Capulet says that marriage is actually what... (full context)
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Lady Capulet tells Juliet that Paris is coming to the feast tonight—Juliet will get to meet the handsome, much-desired... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 5
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Romeo spots Juliet from across the room and asks a servant who she is. The servant says he... (full context)
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Romeo approaches Juliet and takes her hand, calling it a “holy shrine.” He says that if his touch... (full context)
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...is drawing to an end. Romeo and his kinsmen begin sneaking out of the party. Juliet asks her nurse who Romeo is. The nurse pretends she doesn’t see Romeo, and when... (full context)
Act 2, prologue
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...for Rosaline is now in its “deathbed.” Love has found Romeo again—but because he and Juliet are supposed to be enemies, the chorus predicts that things will be complicated for them.... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 2
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...comes out of hiding just as a light in a nearby window flicks on and Juliet exits onto her balcony. “It is the east,” Romeo says, regarding Juliet, “and Juliet is... (full context)
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Juliet speaks, sighing “Ay me!” and Romeo, hearing her, remains hidden, but quietly says he wishes... (full context)
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Romeo speaks up and says he’ll take Juliet’s advice and allow her to “baptize” him anew—if she wants, he says, he’ll cease being... (full context)
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Juliet tells Romeo that normally she’d be embarrassed about all the things he’s overheard her saying... (full context)
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As Romeo begins to swear his love again, however, Juliet cuts him off, telling him that they are being “too rash.” She tries to bid... (full context)
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Juliet’s nurse calls for her, and Juliet tells Romeo that she has to go inside but... (full context)
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Romeo turns to leave, but Juliet comes out to the balcony yet again and calls down to him, asking what time... (full context)
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Juliet bids Romeo goodnight, and he says he hopes she sleeps peacefully. Juliet hurries inside, and... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 3
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Friar Laurence, in spite of his reservations, admits that perhaps the marriage of Romeo and Juliet could serve “to turn [their] households’ rancor to pure love.” Romeo begs the friar to... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 4
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Juliet’s nurse and Peter enter and greet the Montague men. The nurse wishes them good morning,... (full context)
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...himself, but the nurse waves him off and pulls Romeo aside. She tells him that Juliet has sent her to talk with Romeo and receive a message from him—but before she... (full context)
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...hand her a rope ladder. Romeo plans on using the ladder to climb up to Juliet’s room later that night. The nurse asks Romeo if his servant can be trusted to... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 5
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In the courtyard of the Capulet manor, Juliet paces nervously—her nurse is not yet back from meeting Romeo, and she is worried about... (full context)
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The nurse states that Juliet has made a “simple choice” in Romeo—though he’s handsome and gentle, she says, he’s nothing... (full context)
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The nurse begs Juliet to calm down, then asks if she has permission to go to confession later. Juliet... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 6
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At Friar Laurence’s cell, the friar and Romeo wait for Juliet. The friar says he hopes the heavens will smile upon the “holy act” of the... (full context)
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Juliet rushes into the friar’s chambers and excitedly embraces Romeo. As Friar Laurence watches the two... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
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...a man who’s only been related to him for an hour or so. Romeo blames Juliet for his misfortune, claiming that her “beauty hath made [him] effeminate.” (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
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Juliet, in her chambers, begs night to fall so that Romeo can at last “leap” into... (full context)
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The nurse enters with Romeo’s rope ladder, and Juliet asks if she brings any news. The nurse calls out mournfully, “He’s dead, he’s dead,”... (full context)
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The nurse points out that Romeo did kill Juliet’s cousin. Juliet wrestles with the emotional and moral conundrum before her—Tybalt, she says, would have... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 3
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...that the word beyond Verona’s walls is “hell itself”—all he wants is to be with Juliet. The friar warns Romeo that he’s being ungrateful for the mercy the prince has shown... (full context)
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Friar Laurence asks who is knocking, and Juliet’s nurse calls out, stating that she has brought a message from her lady. She enters,... (full context)
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...a man. The friar demands Romeo pull himself together—nothing is as bad as it seems. Juliet is alive, and still in love with Romeo; Romeo is alive, while Tybalt, who would... (full context)
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...Friar Laurence for lifting his mood. The friar tells Romeo to enjoy his night with Juliet, but not to forget that, come morning’s light, he must be out of the city.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 4
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...midst of all the chaos surrounding Tybalt’s death, there has been no time to “move” Juliet to happy thoughts of marrying Paris. Paris assures Capulet and Lady Capulet that he understands.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 5
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Romeo and Juliet walk out onto Juliet’s balcony after having spent the night together. It is nearly morning,... (full context)
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After a kiss farewell, Romeo climbs down the rope ladder. Juliet calls after him, worried that it will be years before they see one another again.... (full context)
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Lady Capulet calls out to Juliet and asks how she’s doing. Juliet says she’s feeling poorly. Lady Capulet tells Juliet that... (full context)
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Lady Capulet tells Juliet that it’s time to talk of nicer things—she has some good news for her daughter.... (full context)
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Capulet screams at Juliet for her ungratefulness, and tells her that no matter what, she is going to marry... (full context)
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Juliet begs her mother to delay the marriage a while—otherwise, Juliet says, her parents might as... (full context)
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Alone, Juliet remarks what a “wicked fiend” the nurse is, and says she regrets having ever trusted... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
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...in the friar’s chamber. Paris is asking the friar’s advice on his upcoming marriage to Juliet, which Paris himself admits is hasty and possibly contrary to Juliet’s wishes. He’s noticed that... (full context)
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Juliet asks Friar Laurence if she can speak with him alone, and the friar urges Paris... (full context)
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Friar Laurence, sensing Juliet’s resolve, tells her of his plan. He urges her to go home,  pretend that everything... (full context)
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Juliet begs Friar Laurence to give her the vial of potion, determined to see the plan... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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...the Capulet home, Capulet is busy hastily sending his servingmen on errands in preparation for Juliet’s wedding while Lady Capulet stands by. He sends one out to go around town inviting... (full context)
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Juliet enters. Capulet asks her where she’s been, and she tells her father that she has... (full context)
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Juliet asks her nurse to come with her to her room and help her pick out... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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In Juliet’s chambers, Juliet thanks the nurse for helping her to pick out clothes and jewels for... (full context)
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As Juliet pulls out the vial and prepares to drink from it, she admits that she’s afraid—she’s... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
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Very early the next morning, the Capulet manor is bustling as Capulet, Lady Capulet, Juliet’s nurse, and several servingmen rush about the house preparing food, lighting fires, and getting ready... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
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The nurse enters Juliet’s bedroom to find her sleeping soundly. She chides the girl for being lazy and tries... (full context)
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As the friar, Paris, and a group of musicians enter Juliet’s chambers asking if Juliet is ready to head to church, Capulet tells them that “death... (full context)
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...of the marriage preparations were in vain—the wedding feast will become a funerary one, and Juliet’s bridal flowers will now cover her corpse. Friar Laurence again urges the family to focus... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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...wakes from sleep, proclaiming that his dreams have portended “some joyful news.” He dreamed that Juliet found him dead, but with a kiss, breathed life back into him, revived him, and... (full context)
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...Romeo that he has terrible news that he must nonetheless deliver, as is his duty: Juliet is dead and buried in the Capulet crypt. Romeo calls out, “I defy you, stars,”... (full context)
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Alone, Romeo declares that one way or another, he will lie with Juliet later that night. He states that he has heard of an apothecary in Mantua who... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...news from Romeo—it is clear that Laurence sent John to Mantua to inform Romeo of Juliet’s plan. Friar John, however, states that he was held up and unable to complete the... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 3
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...graveyard outside the church, Paris sneaks close to the Capulet crypt to scatter flowers around Juliet’s resting place while his page keeps watch nearby. Paris vows to come to Juliet’s grave... (full context)
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...the citizens’ watch. Paris falls and dies, begging to be laid to rest next to Juliet. (full context)
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...of gossip Balthasar told him on the ride from Mantua—that Paris was supposed to marry Juliet, or already had. He wonders if he misheard Balthasar, or if, in his madness over... (full context)
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As he descends into the crypt and lays eyes on Juliet, Romeo remarks that though death has taken Juliet’s breath from her body, it has “had... (full context)
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Juliet stirs, then wakes. She says hello to Friar Laurence and asks where Romeo is. There... (full context)
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Friar Laurence leaves, and Juliet is left alone in the tomb. She looks upon Romeo’s corpse and, seeing a cup... (full context)
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...into the Capulet crypt. The chief watchman finds the “pitiful sight” of Paris, Romeo, and Juliet, all dead, in the bottom of the crypt—he realizes that Juliet was merely faking her... (full context)
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...to know what’s going on—in the streets, they’ve heard people crying the names of Romeo, Juliet, and Paris. The chief watchman tells them all that Romeo and Paris are dead, and... (full context)
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Friar Laurence speaks up to clear the air. He admits that he married Romeo and Juliet in secret on the day of Tybalt’s death—Juliet was, all along, pining for the exiled... (full context)
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...asks him to say his peace. Balthasar says that after he brought Romeo news of Juliet’s death, Romeo fled Mantua for Verona, gave Balthasar a letter for Montague, and threatened Balthasar... (full context)
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...referring to him as “brother,” and asks for his hand. His forgiveness, he says, is Juliet’s dowry. Montague states that he will erect a pure gold statue in Juliet’s form—as long... (full context)
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...play by stating that there “never was a story of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” (full context)