Romeo and Juliet is, arguably, the most famous tragedy ever written. It resonates with audiences around the world today, just as powerfully as when it was first performed over four hundred years ago. So iconic is the English work that Romeo and Juliet quotes have been cited in other works ever since the play was first performed during the 16th-century (though the exact date of the first performance remains unclear).
Here are 15 memorable quotes from Shakespeare’s Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet:
O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo?
(Juliet, Act 2, Scene 1)
A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life
(Chorus – Prologue)
O true apothecary,
Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die.
(Romeo – Act 5 Scene 3)
O happy dagger,
This is thy sheath: there rust, and let me die.
(Juliet – Act 5 Scene 3)
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,
That thou her maid art far more fair than she.
(Romeo, Act 2, Scene2)
Good night, good night!
Parting is such sweet sorrow,
That I shall say good night till it
(Juliet Act 2, Scene 2)
For this alliance may so happy prove,
To turn your households’ rancour to pure love.
(Friar Laurence/Lawrence – Act2, Scene 2)
These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder
Which, as they kiss, consume. The sweetest honey
Is loathsome in his own deliciousness
And in the taste confounds the appetite.
Therefore love moderately; long love doth so;
Too swift arrives as tardy as too slow.
(Friar Laurence/Lawrence – Act 2, Scene 5)
My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!
Prodigious birth of love it is to me,
That I must love a loathed enemy.
(Juliet – Act 1, Scene 5)
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.
(Juliet – Act2, Scene 1)
Parting is such sweet sorrow that I shall say goodnight till it be morrow.
(Juliet – Act 2, Scene 1)
A plague o’ both your houses!
(Mercutio – Act 3 Scene 1)
This love that thou hast shown
Doth add more grief to too much of mine own.
Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers’ eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
(Romeo – Act 1, Scene 1)
And yet I wish but for the thing I have;
My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.
(Juliet – Act 2, Scene 2)
For never was a story of more woe
Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.
(Prince – Act 5, Scene 3)