What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet. (Juliet act II scene II)
In this scene, Juliet confesses her entrancement for Romeo, and wishes that he had another name. Romeo, at this, surprises her by appearing and offering to take another name for his love. This quote is especially significant, as it is where Juliet first demonstrates her love for Romeo. It argues that rather than a label that has been attached, it is the substance of something that defines what it is. Also, in this line Shakespeare was also making a joke at the expense of the Rose Theatre. The Rose was a local rival to his Globe Theatre and is reputed to have had less than effective sanitary arrangements. The story goes that this was a coy joke about the smell.
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life. (Prologue)
This is the summary of the entire play. A classic linguistic technique often employed Shakespeare; this is the first example of foreshadowing we see in the play. A pair of… lovers, referring to Romeo and Juliet; star cross’d, signalling that their love is often thwarted by outside forces; take their life, beaconing the death of the lovers later in the play. Before “star cross’d” was popularised, it was an astrological reference, stemming from the belief that the positions of stars decide the fate of people. In this case, Romeo and Juliet’s paths crossing was an inevitability, as determined by the stars.
Thus with a kiss I die. (Romeo act V scene III)
Another linguistic device often found in Shakespearean plays, the irony in this comment is immense. Romeo falls and dies, as he performs a gesture that symbolises his deathless love for Juliet. Although the quote doesn’t appear very emotional, much of Romeo’s feelings is conveyed in his actions. At this time of the play, Romeo is simultaneously feeling the sadness of estrangement, the regret of impulsivity, the fear of death. As Romeo’s last line in the entire play, this quote compacts all...