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Romeo and Juliet

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ACT III SCENE IV A room in Capulet's house. 
CAPULETThings have fall'n out, sir, so unluckily,
That we have had no time to move our daughter:
Look you, she loved her kinsman Tybalt dearly,
And so did I:--Well, we were born to die.
'Tis very late, she'll not come down to-night:
I promise you, but for your company,
I would have been a-bed an hour ago.
PARISThese times of woe afford no time to woo.
Madam, good night: commend me to your daughter.
LADY CAPULETI will, and know her mind early to-morrow;10
To-night she is mew'd up to her heaviness.
CAPULETSir Paris, I will make a desperate tender
Of my child's love: I think she will be ruled
In all respects by me; nay, more, I doubt it not.
Wife, go you to her ere you go to bed;
Acquaint her here of my son Paris' love;
And bid her, mark you me, on Wednesday next--
But, soft! what day is this?
PARISMonday, my lord,
CAPULETMonday! ha, ha! Well, Wednesday is too soon,
O' Thursday let it be: o' Thursday, tell her,20
She shall be married to this noble earl.
Will you be ready? do you like this haste?
We'll keep no great ado,--a friend or two;
For, hark you, Tybalt being slain so late,
It may be thought we held him carelessly,
Being our kinsman, if we revel much:
Therefore we'll have some half a dozen friends,
And there an end. But what say you to Thursday?
PARISMy lord, I would that Thursday were to-morrow.
CAPULETWell get you gone: o' Thursday be it, then.30
Go you to Juliet ere you go to bed,
Prepare her, wife, against this wedding-day.
Farewell, my lord. Light to my chamber, ho!
Afore me! it is so very very late,
That we may call it early by and by.
Good night.

Next: Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 5


Explanatory Notes for Act 3, Scene 4

From Romeo and Juliet. Ed. K. Deighton. London: Macmillan.
*Line numbers have been adjusted.

2. move, try to persuade.

6. promise, assure.

10. know, ascertain, discover; cp. v. 3. 198.

11. she is mew'd ... heaviness, she is a prisoner to her grief, is alone with her grief. "Mew is the place, whether it be abroad or in the house, in which the Hawk is put during the time she casts, or doth change her Feathers" (R. Holme's Academy of Armory and Blazon, quoted by Dyce, Gloss.). From the substantive mew, from which comes the verb, we get our word mews = stables, originally a place for falcons.

12, 3. I will make ... love, I will hazard the offer of my daughter's love without waiting to learn finally what her inclinations on the subject are. Paris being "kinsman to the Prince," Capulet is anxious to secure the alliance.

16. my son, i.e. son in law. So in M. A. iv. 1. 27, Claudio, betrothed to Hero, calls Leonato "Father" before the marriage, and Leonato answers him as "my son"; in T. S. ii. 1. 318, Petruchio addresses his future father-in-law, "Provide the feast, father," and five lines lower down says, "Father and wife, and gentlemen, adieu," it being then customary for those betrothed to term one another 'husband' and 'wife' even before the marriage ceremony, and consequently their future parents-in-law 'father' and 'mother.'

18. soft, gently! let me pause to consider.

21. earl, nobleman; the title of course is an English, not an Italian, one.

23. We'll ... ado, we'll not make much fuss about the matter, not celebrate the marriage with any great feasting: ado, trouble, "properly v. inf. = at do, which was the fuller form ... (1) pres. inf. to do; ... (2) In doing, being done; at work, astir ... hence through such phrases as much ado, etc., by taking the adverbs as adjectives qualifying ado, the latter was viewed as a substantive" ... (Murray, Eng. Dict.).

25. held him carelessly, held him cheap, did not sorrow for him as much as we should have done.

26. Being our kinsman, considering that he was a relation.

28. And there an end, and that is sufficient.

30. get you gone. "An idiom; that is to say, a peculiar form of expression, the principle of which cannot be carried out beyond the particular instance. Thus we cannot say either Make thee gone or He got him (or himself) gone. Phraseologies, on the contrary, which are not idiomatic are paradigmatic, or may serve as models or moulds for others to any extent. All expression is divided into these two kinds" ... (Craik on J. C. ii. 4. 2).

32. against, in anticipation of, so that she may be ready when the day comes; cp. M. N. D. iii. 2. 99, "I'll charm his eyes against she do appear." The use is now colloquial only.

34. Afore me, a form of petty oath, by my soul; softened from 'afore God.'


How to cite the explanatory notes:

Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Ed. K. Deighton. London: Macmillan, 1916. Shakespeare Online. 20 Feb. 2010. (date when you accessed the information) < >.


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