March 11

But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

SCENE II. Capulet’s orchard.

 

Enter ROMEO

ROMEO
He jests at scars that never felt a wound.

JULIET appears above at a window

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,                                5
That thou her maid art far more fair than she:
Be not her maid, since she is envious;
Her vestal livery is but sick and green
And none but fools do wear it; cast it off.
It is my lady, O, it is my love!                                                   10
O, that she knew she were!
She speaks yet she says nothing: what of that?
Her eye discourses; I will answer it.
I am too bold, ‘tis not to me she speaks:                              15
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
What if her eyes were there, they in her head?
The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,   20
As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
Would through the airy region stream so bright
That birds would sing and think it were not night.
See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
O, that I were a glove upon that hand,                                  25
That I might touch that cheek!

JULIET
Ay me!

ROMEO
She speaks:
O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head                     30
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.                                     35

JULIET
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.

ROMEO
[Aside] Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?           40

JULIET
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!                     45
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name 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,                          50
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.

Choose a specific line from both Romeo and Juliet in the lines above that demonstrates an emotion Shakespeare is crafting in this scene. Explain what the emotion is and how each line you chose does demonstrates that emotion.

As always, be sure to follow the rules of standard written English and respond to at least one other comment in this thread.

R&J blog 9


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Posted March 11, 2019 by equinson in category Romeo and Juliet

30 thoughts on “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

  1. Myles Ng

    “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.”

    These lines are showing devotion for Romeo by Juliet. The first line is her just talking to herself, she is complaining about the fact that Romeo is of the House of Montague. “O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore art thou Romeo?” She is also saying that their names mean nothing. In these lines she is saying she will give up her name to be with Romeo. She is also requesting him to do the same, “Deny thy father and refuse thy name.” Romeo and Juliet do not feel the hate that their fathers feel. In the third line she is saying that if you don’t want to give up your name, just love me instead. Finally the fourth line is saying if you don’t give up you name, I will give up my name and I will no longer be a Capulet. All these lines show Juliet’s devotion, she will give up everything just to be with Romeo.

    Reply
  2. Kate Ma.

    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,

    These few lines that Romeo says clearly shows Romeo’s affection for Juliet. Romeo compares Juliet to the sun, a bright beautiful planet that other planets orbit around showing how Romeo really loves her. Also in the second line, it says how Juliet kills the moon. Juliet is so bright and beautiful that she blocks out the moon. This is similar to when Romeo described her as a dove compared to crows. All of these simile’s and metaphors used by Shakespeare are written to convey Romeo’s emotion of affection for Juliet.

    Reply
  3. Emma Garbowitz

    Romeo’s lines-
    “O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
    As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
    As is a winged messenger of heaven”

    These lines, said by Romeo really stuck out to me when reading the last two scenes. First of all, what I think these lines mean is that Romeo considers Juliet this great, beautiful creature (an angel) and thinks she is as beautiful as night standing up on that balcony. Furthermore, he goes on to so say “as is a winged messenger of heaven”. I think this means that because Juliet is saying all these wonderful things about Romeo, and telling him how much she loves him (although she is talking to herself) she was the “angel” who brought him the message of how Juliet feels. These specific lines show Romeo’s devoted love towards Juliet and how he really feels about her. He compares her to such a beautiful, graceful thing that is associated with love and care. Furthermore, these lines show how Romeo believes the Juliet is the most beautiful woman he has ever met. Romeo loves Juliet so much and this is exactly what he felt when speaking these lines during the play.

    Juliet’s lines-
    “What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name would smell as sweet;
    So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d,
    Retain that dear perfection which he owes”

    Basically what Juliet is saying is that your name shouldn’t define who you are and your name shouldn’t change you even if it changes. She thinks that you are your own person and nobody should plan your destiny except you and it most definitely should not be based off of the name your parents gave you. I think during this scene Juliet is being true to her heart and just wants to be able to love Romeo without any problems being created. She is obviously disappointed that her one true love is the one family that her parents decide to hate. However, just because Romeo’s last name is Montague, that won’t stop them from being with each other whenever they possibly can. Furthermore, I think Juliet was trying to make the best of her situation during this scene. She was almost saying to herself, so what if he’s a Montague, everything will turn out just fine (even though she does have her doubts).She does want everything to work out in the end and have all the fights be done with and Juliet wants to be with and be able to love Romeo.

    Reply
  4. caseyz

    Juliet:

    ‘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!

    This set of lines Shows how much Juliet loves Romeo. These lines are from the scene where Juliet is of her balcony and is talking about Romeo. She is worried and was wondering how her and Romeo’s relationship would work out, with her being a Capulet and him being a Montague. She is talking about how much people in their town value names and pick sides. She feels like you’re either a Capulet or a Montague with no in between, and they are meant to hate each other. Juliet just wants to ignore their names and be with Romeo.

    Reply
    1. josepha4

      Yeah I agree that she wants them to be together no matter their name and she is willing to completely forget her name in order to be with Romeo.

      Reply
  5. josepha4

    Romeo:O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
    As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
    As is a winged messenger of heaven

    In these lines Shakespeare is attempting to convey the emotion of envy and love through Romeo. He compares her to the most possible graceful creature that exists and thinks she is the most beautiful woman in the world. While Juliet is contemplating her love for Romeo, Romeo is doing the same thing about Juliet while he watches her.

    Juliet: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.

    In this scene Shakespeare is conveying the emotion of desperation and love. Juliet wants Romeo do forget his name and only live for their love. And if Romeo can’t throw away his name then she will no longer be a Capulet for the sake of their love.

    Reply
  6. Laila

    Juliet:
    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!

    In these few lines, we see Juliet very conflicted. She knows she loves Romeo but doesn’t know what she can do about it. She can’t avoid her feelings. Juliet fears not only Romeo’s family, but she fears her own. She will never be able to get away with being with a Montague. She proceeds to say “What’s Montague?”, meaning, what do names have to do with anything? He is still a man and he’d be the same with a different name? It’s just a name. This shows her allegiance to Romeo and how she is willing to contradict the morals of her family, just to be together with him.

    Reply
    1. Mikayla Friedman

      I think that Juliet is more upset than conflicted. She knows she cannot deny her feelings for Romeo, she knows she will be angering her family, so she is upset at realizing the truth.

      Reply
      1. Zoe

        I think she may also find comfort in getting out of the Capulets since she would be forced to love Paris if she stayed. I also agree she was conflicted in the beginning. Great analysis!

        Reply
  7. jane

    Juliet:

    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.

    I think that the above three lines are very significant. Juliet is thinking to herself about Romeo being a Montague. The only enemy to her family has to be the man she falls in love with. Here, Juliet really questions the significance of a name. She says that names are only good for identifying one person from another, but don’t have anything to do with the kind of person someone is. She says that Romeo should either change his name, and leave his family, or she will. This is because she knows that they will never be together if they stay as Montagues and Capulets. This shows how important their relationship is to Juliet, and that she is willing to flip her life upside down just to be with Romeo.

    Reply
  8. Emily

    Romeo-
    “The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars,
    As daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven
    Would through the airy region stream so bright
    That birds would sing and think it were not night.”

    In this quote from Romeo and Juliet the readers experience the true romance between Romeo and Juliet. In this text, Romeo says that Juliet’s cheeks are so bright that it would disgrace the stars, and that her cheeks are so bright that birds will think that it is day time instead of life because of the brightness of her cheeks. Romeo loves Juliet and he thinks that she is beautiful, that her eyes are “in heaven”. He thinks that she is heavenly and with this one sentence he is professing his undying lie for her.

    Juliet-
    “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.”

    In these lines, Juliet says that Romeo must refuse her father and her name, and if he does than she will be her true love and in response she will revoke her title as a Capulet. This is significant since is shows how she is willing to give up her whole life, and her identity as a Capulet. Her whole life, she has been a capulet and part of a family, but she is willing to give everything up for a man she met not even a day ago. This shows how much she loves him. She loves him for who he is, and she doesn’t care about trifle things like the family that that they belong to. This is a model for society, and how they should accept everyone for who they really are and not for things that they can not change about themselves. Although in this case it is used in the context of families, but it can also be applied to other things in our society today. Shakespeare is still relevant today, because it allows for families to be substituted for many other things such as race, ethnicity, and so many others. No matter what year it is, love is still love and it always overrules everything else.

    Reply
  9. Mikayla Friedman

    Juliet:
    Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,
    And I’ll no longer be a Capulet.

    These lines demonstrate the great love Juliet feels for Romeo. She is saying Romeo could disobey his father and forget his name, but if he won’t, all he has to do is swear to love her, and she’ll deny her name. This shows how much Juliet is willing to give up to be with Romeo. She will leave her family behind, which is what she is implying when she says she’ll no longer be a Capulet, just to be with Romeo. I also think that Juliet is making a very strong statement, considering she literally just met Romeo a few hours ago! And now she’ll leave her family and elope with a guy, who is basically a stranger? Nevertheless, I can understand that she feels strongly for Romeo, and therefore the fact that she is willing to leave her family really displays this emotion.

    Romeo:
    See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
    O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek

    These lines are so sweet! They are simple, unlike some of the other things Romeo says, but they show the pure love Romeo has for Juliet. He just wants to be with her all the time! He notices every little thing about her, and he envies her palm because it is touching her cheek. I think it is innocent but true when Romeo says he wishes he was a glove on Juliet’s hand so that he could touch her cheek. It encompasses all of Romeo’s feelings into something so simple as touching the cheek of the girl he loves.

    Reply
  10. Hannah Pitkofsky

    Juliet:
    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.

    When Juliet says this during the beginning of Act II, scene ii, she is commenting on the fact that she is in love with Romeo, almost too much in love, wishing it wasn’t Romeo and that she could turn back time. But she can’t and she continues on commenting on the uselessness of names and on the love she feels with Romeo. When Shakespeare inserted this speech, I think that he was trying to add to the romantic appeal of the scene that would only grow stronger as the scene progressed. Juliet and Romeo were introducing the scene and the emotion that was trying to be portrayed with these speeches at the beginning of the scene.

    Reply
  11. Madi R.

    Romeo
    See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
    O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek!

    In these lines, Shakespeare demonstrates an emotion of desire. Shakespeare does this by setting the scene through Romeo’s speech. In the scene, Juliet is on her balcony leaning on her cheek. Romeo wishes to be a glove on Juliet’s hand because of his desire to touch her cheek. This soliquy that Romeo recites allows the reader to feel his desire and love for Juliet.

    Juliet
    ‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
    Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.

    The reader witnesses the struggle in Juliet’s heart as she desires to return Romeo’s love, but feels the tension of their different family names. Juliet wants Romeo to have a different last name because it is only his last name that is her enemy. If Romeo did not have the last name of Montague her family would accept him and Juliet could have her heart’s desire. Shakespeare’s inclusion of the emotions of temptation, desire and struggle really draws the reader in to the play and makes them feel the passion of the characters.

    Reply
  12. stephaniec

    This scene can represent a lot of different emotions going on between Romeo and Juliet. The emotions run from love and desire to realization and denial. At first Romeo expressed his strong feelings consisting of love and desire for Juliet. For instance, Romeo stated,
    “See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
    O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek”
    After this, Juliet fully comes to term with the fact that they are from opposite sides of two feuding families. However, Juliet said to Romeo,
    “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.”
    She believes that there love is far greater than anything else in their lives, and if they have to give up their family names to be together, then she will. Furthermore, she thinks that pretending they are different people will succeed when true love is in the way of it.

    Reply
  13. johnh1

    ‘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! 45
    What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name 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, 50
    And for that name which is no part of thee
    Take all myself.

    I think these lines show the emotion shown in the scene. It perfectly shows the dilemma of Romeo and Juliet and their love. Juliet loves Romeo so much that she doesn’t care what his name is. She forgets what she has been taught and how she has grown up due to her love for him. She questions everything she knows and thinks hard about why any of the feud matters. She also is talking to herself. She is spending her time thinking about this boy that she met just thinking and telling the universe all about how he is all that matters to her.

    Reply
  14. Hannah M.

    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.

    In these lines Juliet talks about how Romeo is a Montague and how they should put their families hatred aside from their love. The first line is how Juliet is saying/asking why Romeo has to be a Montague. She wishes it was not Romeo who she fell in fell in love with. The second line talks about how Romeo should deny the fact Juliet is a Capulet and how she will then deny the fact HE is a Montague and wont let that get in the way of their love. Juliet is asking Romeo to focus on they’re love and not they’re names and Juliet will not be known as a Capulet to Romeo

    Reply
    1. trinityt

      I agree. Juliet doesn’t want their love to end because of them being a Capulet and a Montague, which is a ridiculous reason. So she wants to put their names aside because it shouldn’t affect the love between them.

      Reply
  15. Sophie

    Romeo:
    O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
    As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
    As is a winged messenger of heaven

    Romeo’s words in this scene show an extreme amount of emotion. Romeo has been comparing Juliet to religious aspects a lot, such as angels and saints. His metaphors show so much of his devotion to Juliet because he is speaking of her in the way that millions of people speak up/worship their religious leaders. It shows how deeply in love he is with her, and that helps us get a better understanding of his feelings. It especially makes the ending of the play so much more tragic and dramatic.

    Juliet:
    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!

    In Juliet’s line here, we see major depth into her perspective and almost a turning point in the story. The main problem of the whole play is that the two family names are enemies. In this scene, Juliet is talking about why the names of themselves should be a burden to their lives. She asks herself, What’s Montague? If it’s not a limb nor any living piece of you, why must it be such a burden! I agree with Juliet! It almost reminds me of the racial and discrimination problems we face today. Whether it’s 200 years ago or right this very moment, humans always seem to have acceptance problems. It’s not what’s on the outside that should limit people’s lives, it’s what’s on the inside that should allow you to enjoy your best life. Juliet is now finally coming to the realization that your name should not be a limitation to your life, it’s your personality that counts.

    Reply
  16. Zoe

    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 name would smell as sweet;

    These lines in Act II, scene ii really illustrate the inner monologue inside of Juliet’s head. She clearly states in her lines that she should not love Romeo for one stupid reason that he’s a Montague. Although she knows this she also knows that a name doesn’t matter; it doesn’t change a person’s personality or looks. “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose By any other name would smell as sweet.” This creates her idea for letting Romeo take her own name, Capulet, away and to be with him no matter what. I think this was the most important information given to the audience in the scene besides the obvious point of Romeo and Juliet’s shared love.

    Reply
  17. trinityt

    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,

    These lines shows that Romeo is comparing Juliet to the sun, a bright, beautiful star that has planets orbiting around it, and when the sun (Juliet) rises, it blocks out the beautiful, bright moon because it’s so bright and beautiful. It’s just like how Romeo was comparing Juliet as a dove to crow in the previous act. This is a way to show that Romeo is conveying his affection for his dear love, Juliet.

    Juliet:
    What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
    By any other name 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,

    These lines shows Juliet in love, desperation, and saying what’s in her heart. Juliet is saying that a name shouldn’t define a person and what they’re like (personality). A name is there only to identify who is who. It shouldn’t define someone as a person. Therefore, Romeo being named Romeo and a Montague shouldn’t matter because him being a Montague shouldn’t mean that he is bad as a person, which goes the same for a Capulet. Juliet is also talking to herself about this out of desperation and love in order to try to calm herself, telling herself that even though she is in love with a Montague, the enemy of her family, everything will be okay.

    Reply
  18. Maddie

    “I am too bold, ‘tis not to me she speaks:
    Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
    Having some business, do entreat her eyes
    To twinkle in their spheres till they return.”

    In this line that Romeo speaks he confesses to himself his love for Juliet. He is basically realizing that it is Juliet in the window, and he says that he wishes she knew that he loved her. He thinks that Juliet is too good for him and is probably not thinking about him, but he is wrong. He wants to tell Juliet that he loves her, but he doesn’t want to come on too strong. He also compliments her eyes, saying that they are like stars from heaven. He is blinded by his love for Juliet.

    “Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
    Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.”

    In this line that Juliet speaks, as well as other lines in this speech, she explains how just because Romeo is a Montague, they are not allowed to be together. She compares names to enemies, and says that the names “Capulet” and “Montague” are the only things that are keeping Romeo and Juliet apart. She thinks that names do not matter, and it shouldn’t make a difference what family Romeo is from.

    Reply
  19. Sunna

    “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.”

    The first line shows that Juliet wishes that Romeo wasn’t a Montague. It would be so much simpler for her if their families weren’t constantly fighting. The second line shows that Juliet doesn’t care that Romeo is a Montague. She is so different from her parents in this way. The third line shows that she just wants Romeo to love her, whether or not he wants to give up her name. The final line shows that Juliet would give up her name just to be with Romeo. She clearly loves him more than anything, and would do anything for him.

    Reply
  20. maxwellw

    “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.”

    In this phrase, Shakespeare takes pity on people for the regulated-world of love, in contrast, a more regulated world of society. To Juliet, their love is impossible due to their family names. Because of this, she asks Romeo to change his name, or else she would change hers. In Juliet’s view calling a ‘Rose’ by any other word will not make it smell bad, making clear the importance of form and characteristics over names when she says, “What’s in a name?”

    Reply
  21. angelicac1

    Juliet:
    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.

    These lines show how Juliet wishes that Romeo wasn’t the one she loved. She would love any other person if her love for Romeo wasn’t so huge, but she can’t. Juliet’s hopelessness continues as she adds on with the fact of how names mean nothing to her and how Romeo’s family name won’t stop her from loving him.

    Romeo:
    See, how she leans her cheek upon her hand!
    O, that I were a glove upon that hand,
    That I might touch that cheek!

    These lines exhibit Romeo’s desire for Juliet’s love and how desperate he is for her. Shakespeare shows how much Romeo wants to by Juliet and how he wishes he was Juliet’s palm so he could touch her cheek. Although Romeo’s love for Juliet occurred over the course of less than a day, readers can see through these lines that Romeo has nothing, but strong love for Juliet.

    Reply
  22. Brishti

    ‘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!

    Shakespeare uses this line to portray the feeling of love Juliet is feeling for Romeo despite being from rivaling families. Here she is contemplating about how if Romeo were not a Montague, they would be able to fall in love. Furthermore, she is also talking about how names are only skin deep, and it doesn’t define who you should be as a person. She also says how Romeo is not a Montague, but rather a different person, without letting his name define him. Juliet is conflicted about loving Romeo, even though he is their sworn enemy.

    Reply

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