Enter ROMEO and JULIET above, at the window
Wilt thou be gone? it is not yet near day:
It was the nightingale, and not the lark,
That pierced the fearful hollow of thine ear;
Nightly she sings on yon pomegranate-tree:
Believe me, love, it was the nightingale.
ROMEO It was the lark, the herald of the morn,
No nightingale: look, love, what envious streaks
Do lace the severing clouds in yonder east:
Night's candles are burnt out, and jocund day
Stands tiptoe on the misty mountain tops.
I must be gone and live, or stay and die.
JULIET Yon light is not day-light, I know it, I:
It is some meteor that the sun exhales,
To be to thee this night a torch-bearer,
And light thee on thy way to Mantua:
Therefore stay yet; thou need'st not to be gone.
ROMEO Let me be ta'en, let me be put to death;
I am content, so thou wilt have it so.
I'll say yon grey is not the morning's eye,
'Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia's brow;
Nor that is not the lark, whose notes do beat
The vaulty heaven so high above our heads:
I have more care to stay than will to go:
Come, death, and welcome! Juliet wills it so.
How is't, my soul? let's talk; it is not day.
JULIET It is, it is: hie hence, be gone, away!
It is the lark that sings so out of tune,
Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps.
Some say the lark makes sweet division;
This doth not so, for she divideth us:
Some say the lark and loathed toad change eyes,
O, now I would they had changed voices too!
Since arm from arm that voice doth us affray,
Hunting thee hence with hunt's-up to the day,
O, now be gone; more light and light it grows.
ROMEO More light and light; more dark and dark our woes!
Enter Nurse, to the chamber
Through the irony of Romeo’s defiance rebounding upon himself, Shakespeare demonstrates the extreme power of fate: nothing can stand in its way. All factors swing in its favor: the outbreak of the plague, Balthasar’s transmission of the message of Juliet’s death, and Capulet’s decision to move Juliet’s wedding date. But fate is also something attached to the social institutions of the world in which Romeo and Juliet live. This destiny, brought about by the interplay of societal norms from which Romeo and Juliet cannot escape, seems equally powerful, though less divine. It is a fate created by man, and man’s inability to see through the absurdity of the world he has created. Now, in this scene, we see Romeo as agent of his own fate. The fortune that befalls Romeo and Juliet is internal rather than external. It is determined by the natures and choices of its two protagonists. Were Romeo not so rash and emotional, so quick to fall into melancholy, the double suicide would not have occurred. Had Juliet felt it possible to explain the truth to her parents, the double suicide might not have occurred. But to wish someone were not as they were is to wish for the impossible. The love between Romeo and Juliet exists precisely because they are who they are. The destructive, suicidal nature of their love is just as much an aspect of their natures, as individuals and couple.