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comment on Shakespeare's use of language and imagery,

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Introduction

With reference to Act 1 Scene 5: lines 43 to 52 and lines 92 to 109 and Act 2 Scene 2, comment on Shakespeare's use of language and imagery, and show how this firmly establishes Romeo and Juliet as 16th Century lovers Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare, is a dramatic love story between to 16th Century lovers, this essay will consider the imagery and language Shakespeare uses and how this establishes Romeo and Juliet as 16th Century lovers. When Romeo first set eyes on Juliet at the Capulet ball he compliments her, "cheek of night," Romeo thinks she is soft and looks superb. He describes her as a "rich jewel" as she shines and is full of beauty, Shakespeare compares Juliet against an unattractive background of an "Ethiop's ear" which makes her be prominent and be stunning. Juliet is "beauty too rich for use, for Earth too dear," she is too attractive and valuable for this Earth. Juliet's loveliness stands out amongst the ugly, "so shows a snowy dove trooping with crows." Romeo speaks of Juliet's angelic qualities; her persona affects him positively, influencing his speech. In the closing lines of this extract Romeo denies his sight as he has "ne'er saw true beauty till this night," Romeo is so astounded by Juliet's splendour he doesn't believe she's real. ...read more.

Middle

Everyone is in awe of Juliet "the white-upturned wondering eyes of mortals, that fall back to gaze on him," Romeo thinks of himself as a mere mortal in comparison to his goddess, Juliet. She speaks of how she wishes Romeo wasn't called Romeo "O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name," she longs for Romeo to not be a Montague and wants him to refuse his family. She has been thinking for a while and is very upset that his name is forbidden in her family. Juliet thinks aloud "if thou wilt not be but sworn my love, and I'll no longer be a Capulet," if Romeo won't change his name she is prepared to give up her family because of her love for him. It is only the "name that is my enemy, thou art thyself, thou not a Montague. What's a Montague? It is nor hand nor foot belonging to a man," Juliet contemplates that a name doesn't matter and doesn't change a man. Shakespeare uses this metaphor as it describes it well "what's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," Romeo is still the same and as perfect to Juliet no matter what his name just like a rose. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo and Juliet are as one "my soul that calls upon my name," it feels to them like a long time for the next day to arrive, "tis twenty years till then." There is an aspect of positive imprisonment "like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves," Juliet would like Romeo to be on a tight string and imprisoned to her. She doesn't want Romeo to leave, and wants him only a short while away so she can call him "Good night! Parting is such sorrow, that I should say goodnight till it be morrow," they don't want to part but know they'll be together again in the morning. A "ghostly sire's close cell," the spiritual father, a priest, will marry them. In conclusion I think these three extracts from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet firmly establish the two as 16th Century "star-crossed lovers" well by using the different types of imagery in their speech and as the play is very romantic with sonnets and love poems included. The feud between the two households "both alike in dignity" is adding fuel to their love and making the story so much more dramatic. Traditionally lovers in the 16th Century did use very elevated language and were very romantic, I think Romeo and Juliet is a perfect example of this. Word Count: 1,669 ?? ?? ?? ?? Naomi Wood 4/27/2007 1 ...read more.

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