• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In Romeo and Juliet, how does Shakespeare use imagery and symbolism to create dramatic tension?

Extracts from this document...


In Romeo and Juliet, how does Shakespeare use imagery and symbolism to create dramatic tension? William Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet is set in 16th Century Verona. It concerns two main characters, Romeo and Juliet, and their fight to keep their love and themselves alive. Romeo and Juliet are the only children of two feuding aristocratic families, the Capulet's and the Montague's. At a party held by Lord Capulet, the two meet and instantaneously fall in love. Throughout the rest of the play we follow their journey of accelerated adolescence until they meet their tragic death. Some people argue that Romeo and Juliet epitomises the true essence of love, because it is so tragic; Romeo and Juliet die for each other, without any hesitation. Shakespeare uses linguistic and poetic devices to create dramatic tension for the reader. Through these carefully structured phrases and sentences, we the reader can know and understand the feelings which Romeo and Juliet are experiencing. Act One Scene Five This scene begins at Capulets house. He is getting ready for a feast to be held at his mansion. ...read more.


Juliet says this to the Nurse, not knowing that what she has just seen will occur in a matter of days. Act Two Scene One Romeo goes into the orchard. He speaks aloud of his love for Juliet, thinking that no one can hear him. In fact, Juliet has come out onto her balcony, but at first she is not aware of Romeos presence because she is so deep within her own thoughts. Juliet is still troubled by the fact that her only love Romeo is the son of her only enemy, the Montague's. We can tell that Juliet is feeling very confused at this time. She is only young and experiencing such strong emotions and feelings at her delicate age must be very hard for her. We observe this in her manner of speech at the beginning of this scene. In the next passage, Shakespeare uses more light imagery. Some may see the use of this light imagery to symbolise the youthfulness and innocence of their love. Romeo and Juliet are experiencing true love, a love so pure that it knows no boundaries. ...read more.


The protracted farewell - Juliet comes and goes twice from the balcony - is a charming way of conveying the excitement she is feeling and leads comfortably to the famous line, 'parting is such sweet sorrow.' Juliet's declaration of love is a convenient dramatic device. It speeds up the reaction and allows Romeo to step forward, announce his presence and immediately pledge his love for Juliet. Juliet finishes her soliloquy with 'take all myself.' Romeo then answers in the same vein; 'I take thee...' This could be perceived as an example of the close connection that Romeo and Juliet share, because he seems to finish her sentence for her. Conclusion In Romeo and Juliet, the language sometimes seems overloaded with linguistic tricks, puns, antithesis, paradox and oxymoron. In part this may be explained boy Shakespeare's love to play around with words. The basis of figurative language is the comparison. A form of direct comparison is a simile. A more subtle comparison is a metaphor. The continual references to light and lightning itself; all affect the audience's imaginative responses. Romeo and Juliet are 'star crossed lovers.' On one level, stars can represent fate - the pair are fated to die. On the other hand, a star us something which brightens up a dark nights' sky. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher


    4 star(s)

    Although Juliet remains loyal to Romeo when he is banished to Mantua, this commitment becomes increasingly difficult for her. When her parents give her permissions to marry Paris, she can no longer hesitate: she has no way out. Her offences are already too great, and she cannot defy her parents - yet she needs to avoid a second wedding.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Romeo and Juliet comparison

    3 star(s)

    The sun suggests the hot foreign climate of a hot foreign country, such as Italy. Shakespeare's name appears when the camera has stop panning and focused on the sun. All of this equals one continuous shot. The panning is slow, and the brightening of the day is slow, creating a slow pace to the shot.

  1. Explore the ways in which Shakespeare presents the characters of Lord Capulet and Juliet ...

    At first, when Capulet is confused and angry with Juliet, a series of rhetorical questions are used e.g. "What is this?" This later turns to pure insults and then to Capulet saying how he had found Juliet the perfect man, and she turned him down.

  2. How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

    this time this was a very offensive word to be called. While tension increases romeo and Juliet meet and fall in love the share kisses and proclaim there feelings for each other and how ever they do not realise that they are sworn enemies.

  1. How is dramatic tension built in Act 3 Scene 5 of 'Romeo and Juliet'

    Lord Capulet then goes on to state: "Now I see this one is too much and that we have a curse in having her" Here he wishes that Juliet had never been born and clarifies his irrationality to the audience.

  2. Romeo and Juliet - Shakespeare creates in his two lead characters, not merely a ...

    he is too "love lorn" to do anything but hold a torch "Give me a torch... I will bear the light." this means that he wouldn't do any dancing and wouldn't wear a mask. He is being a party pooper, why?

  1. Compare the way Shakespeare presents the love between Romeo and Rosaline with that of ...

    "To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss." At the start of the balcony scene Romeo asks himself if the light at the window is the light of a candle or that of Juliet. In the following line Romeo is certain that the bright light that shines down from the window is Juliet because in his eyes she

  2. comparison of love and hate in romeo and juliet

    For the first time they both experience a love that is more passionate and stronger then anything they have ever felt before. We realise this straight away as Romeo is talking about Juliet, he does briefly mention sex once but after that he does not mention it again.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work