ROMEO If mine heart’s too ~ love—

JULIET Well, perform not swear. Return I delight in thee

I have no happiness of this contract tonight,

it is too rash, also unadvised, also sudden,

Too prefer the lightning, i m sorry doth cease to be

Ere one can say ‘It lightens’. Sweet, great night:

This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath,

may prove a beauteous flower when following we meet.

an excellent night, an excellent night! as sweet repose and also rest

come to thy heart together that in ~ my breast. (2.2.115-124)

What? Romeo is just obtaining going in the swearing/not swearing video game when Juliet appears to acquire cold feet and tries to finish the conversation. One of the means in i m sorry a chill wind appears – temporarily! – to blow v this scene is v a sudden shift in the temporality. The lovers have been speaking together if time and room had ceased to be, together if they are sharing a minute which is somehow exterior time (and they will soon return to this idiom). Yet here Juliet imagines a socially typical near-future: possibly they’ll run right into each other again after that in the summer, but in the meantime, they must both acquire a an excellent night’s sleep. And this leisurely model of time is juxtaposed with the violent immediate of the lightning, not least in the assonance of lightning/lightens/ripening (and night); the exposing flash of lightning is a different kind of illumination come the shining, glowing, radiant sources of light previously invoked. There is a gorgeous sensuality in the bud that love, summer’s ripening breath, beauteous flower – recalling the rose which would smell as sweet – yet it’s currently apparently gift deferred. Partially this exchange is around Juliet’s practicality: this does all seem as well sudden, to have moved also fast. Intense, excessive, hyperbolic (too, too, too) however so fast as to be illusory, and also with the potential for good harm. Contract is an interesting word to introduce here, and also it offers pause (not least metrically). That might an ext readily take an early modern audience back to the round scene, and also the ritual method in i beg your pardon Romeo and Juliet have joined their hands, in the main gesture of all contracts, whether financial or personal.


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A betrothal is a hand-fasting; Juliet is already thinking about marriage, at some level. For all the apparent change in the atmosphere (don’t worry) yes sir a sort of ecstatic serenity in the balanced method in which she (apparently) dismisses him: the repeat of good night, the hendiadys the repose and rest, the pairing that thy heart and my breast.