Now we hear Juliet’s famous words, “O Romeo, Romeo! wherefore [why] art thou Romeo?” (2.2.33). Of course she’s not actually speaking to Romeo (she has no idea that he is there), but she is so much in love with him that she’s asking why he must be “Romeo,” a Montague. She asks him to “Deny thy father and refuse thy name”(2.2.34), so that he will no longer be a Montague, or — if he won’t do that — if he will just swear he loves her, she will give up the name of “Capulet.” Hearing this, Romeo asks himself if he should speak now, or listen some more. Before he can quite make up his mind, Juliet says more about his name. It is only his name that is her enemy, she says to her imagined Romeo, and if he would change his name, “Thou art thyself, though not a Montague” (2.2.39). In other words, if he changed his name, he would still be himself. And “Montague” isn’t a hand, foot, arm, or face. There’s actually nothing in a name, she says, because “That which we call a rose / By any other name would smell as sweet” 2.2.43-44), and “So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call’d, / Retain that dear perfection which he owes [has] / Without that title [name]” (2.2.45-47). Once again, she asks Romeo (still without knowing that he’s there) to give up his name, ” And for that name which is no part of thee / Take all myself” (2.2.48-49).
2. 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.
Juliet speaks these lines, perhaps the most famous in the play, in the balcony scene (2.1.74–78). Leaning out of her upstairs window, unaware that Romeo is below in the orchard, she asks why Romeo must be Romeo—why he must be a Montague, the son of her family’s greatest enemy (“wherefore” means “why,” not “where”; Juliet is not, as is often assumed, asking where Romeo is). Still unaware of Romeo’s presence, she asks him to deny his family for her love. She adds, however, that if he will not, she will deny her family in order to be with him if he merely tells her that he loves her. More…
Reader’s Comment (Me):
This line “That which we call a Rose. In any other word, would smell as sweet” is very… how do I say this… touching? yeah, touching. Its nice to know that if I change my name to Rumpelstiltskin, I would still be loved, right? right? RIGHT! That is why i love this book, even if i haven’t read it yet…
Found this on Yahoo Answers.