The play opens with the chorus reciting a poem. Then, in the opening dialogue, Shakespeare spices his writing with puns and double-entendres, as when the servants Sampson and Gregory make veiled sexual references: The quarrel is between our masters and us their men. The heads of the maids? Ay, the heads of the maids, or their maidenheads; take it in what sense thou wilt.
Mercutio, a brilliant punster and shaper of imagery, uses his way with words to criticize the stupidity of the feuding families and the folly of blind passion. Sometimes, a single passage he speaks contains a gamut of language devices.
Note, for example, the following prose passage, spoken when he sees Romeo approaching. Now is he [Romeo] for the numbers [poems] that Petrarch flowed in: Signior Romeo, bon jour! Perhaps the most famous oxymoron in the play is the one occurring in the last two words of this line: An oxymoron consists of two contradictory words occurring one after the other.
A paradox consists of contradictory words separated by intervening words. In the second scene of Act 3, when Juliet criticizes Romeo for killing Tybalt while praising him as her beloved, she manages to squeeze in six oxymorons and four paradoxes: Beautiful tyrant oxymoron, line 80 Fiend angelical oxymoron, line 80 Dove-feather'd raven oxymoron, line 81 Wolvish-ravening lamb oxymoron, line 81 Damned saint oxymoron, line 84 Honourable villain oxymoron, line 84 Despised substance of divinest show paradox, line 83 Spirit of a fiend in moral paradise of such sweet flesh paradox, lines Book containing such vile matter so fairly bound paradox, lines Deceit should dwell in such a gorgeous palace paradox, lines Examples of Other Figures of Speech Alliteration Alliteration is the repetition of consonant sounds at the beginning of syllables, as indicated by the boldfaced letters below.
Bid a sick man in sadness make his will 1. Therefore, she does not alliterate with stay and siege. These griefs, these woes, these sorrows make me old. Here is an example in which Juliet addresses the night. Come, civil night, Thou sober-suited matron, all in black. Use of bite and like in a line of poetry constitutes assonance.
Like repeats the "i" sound of bite but not the consonant sound "t" that follows the "i. When he bestrides the lazy-pacing cloud 2. In simpler terms, the audience or reader is aware of a plot development of which a character is unaware. An example of this figure of speech occurs in the fifth scene of Act 3 lines when Juliet pretends to her mother that she hates Romeo for killing Tybalt and that she desires vengeance.
The audience well knows, of course, what Lady Capulet does not: Another example occurs when Romeo sees the body of Juliet at the Capulet tomb site. He believes she is dead, although he notices that her face is still lifelike. Metaphor A metaphor is a comparison between unlike things. In making the comparison, it does not use like, as, or than.
Note the following examples. Some apostrophes are also personifications. Following are examples of personification from Romeo and Juliet. This comparison is also an example of apostrophe.
Shakespeare was particularly adept at creating vivid imagery. Light and Darkness Perhaps the most memorable imagery in the play centers on figures of speech involving light and darkness.I love teaching Romeo and Juliet.
I have taught this play for seven of the ten years I have been teaching, and the only reason I didn’t do it for those three is that I was teaching pre-K and middle school, and it wasn’t part of either curriculum. In contrast to dark is the light that Romeo and Juliet describe one another with.
To Juliet, Romeo is the “day in night”; to Romeo, Juliet is the sun rising from the east.
In the famous balcony scene, Romeo defines Juliet as the sun rising from the east that banishes the . Despite being best friends, Romeo and Mercutio’s views on love are very contrasting.
In act 1 scene 4, Romeo is portrayed as someone who views love as a negative thing, whereas Mercutio has a more positive view on love. Shakespeare’s Worlds of Science. Natalie Elliot. New scholarship reveals a Bard brooding over the science of his day. What can we learn from his vision of cosmic upheaval?
Mercutio is one of the most distinctive characters in Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”. His language is always powerful and creative. He represents many different things in the play and holds an important role. Romeo and Juliet study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.