Love is a smoke raised with the fume of sighs;
Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes;
Being vexed, a sea nourished with loving tears.
What is it else? A madness most discreet,
A choking gall, and a preserving sweet.
 William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet (1597). copy citation

Author William Shakespeare
Source Romeo and Juliet
Topic love passion madness sweetness
Date 1597
Language English
Reference Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Scene 1
Note Written between 1591 and 1595 Romeo line

Meaning and analysis

Kwize Master While Romeo shares with his friend Benvolio his disappointment at being rejected by Rosaline, he develops a metaphor about love. Love is like a smoke that when dissipated can become a burning passion or, on the contrary, an ocean of tears. Love can thus lead to very contrasting states depending on its evolution, leading to the most complete happiness or the most profound sadness.
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