Momento Mori

From the opening Prologue we know that Romeo and Juliet are going to end up dead, will “take their life” (1Chorus, 6). And the death references abound, but a few are pure foreshadowing:

  • Romeo: “some vile forfeit of untimely death” (I.iv.111)
  • Juliet: “My grave is like to be my wedding bed” (I.v.136)
  • Nurse: “Doth not rosemary and Romeo begin both with a letter?” (II.iv.201-202); rosemary was used in funeral wreaths
  • Friar Laurence: “These violent delights have violent ends” (II.vi.9)
  • Juliet: “when I shall die” (III.ii.21)
  • Juliet: “I’ll to my wedding bed; // And death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!” (III.ii.136-137)
  • Capulet: “Well, we are born to die” (III.iv.4)
  • Juliet to Romeo: “Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low, // As one dead in the bottom of a tomb” (III.v.55-56)
  • Juliet: “Or hide me nightly in a charnel house” (IV.i.81); a charnel house is a “vault in which the bones of the dead are piled up” (Oxford English Dictionary Second Edition on CD-ROM [v. 4.0])
  • Romeo: “I dreamt my lady came and found me dead” (V.i.6)

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