When in Deep Despair Quote Shakespeare

Lessons from high school literature class

Dr. Barbara Christie
EduCreate

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Photo from Birmingham Museum Trust on Unsplash

Recently, I had a tragic event in my life. When I was asked by a close friend from high school how I felt I provided a quote from Romeo and Juliet, a book we studied as a part of our freshman literature class.

“Past hope, past help, past cure?” I said with a question mark because I did not remember if that was exactly how William Shakespeare wrote the phrase.

She then said she thought it was “past hope, past help, past care”?

It turned out we were both wrong.

Act 4, Scene 1

Juliet is speaking to Friar Laurence about her despair, having found out about her impending arranged marriage to a man she does not love. Her parents have set the date for a week ahead on a Thursday. The upcoming nuptial would destroy her future with Romeo.

O shut the door, and when thou hast done so,

Come weep with me, past hope, past cure, past help.

Shakespeare had an amazing ability to create plays that cover life’s challenges. His timeless themes are recognizable to generations. Despair and sadness are major themes that appear repeatedly. Because I grew up in the 1970’s, Shakespeare had a heavy influence on my literary…

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Dr. Barbara Christie
EduCreate

Science Educator, Community Outreach Advocate, Nature Loving Birder & Children's Book Author.