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Examine the language and Imagery in the Balcony Scene Act 2 Scene 2 Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Examine the Language and Imagery in the 'Balcony Scene' (Act II Scene II). Consider what the scene adds to the play as a whole. In the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare every page is engulfed with varieties of figurative language that bring forth a vivid perspective of the two lovers. This is especially true for act II scene II, commonly known as 'The Balcony Scene'. In this scene Shakespeare makes excellent use of personification and similes to praise and adore certain attributes, like beauty and he also uses symbolism and hyperbole to show endless eternal love. But soft, what light through yonder window breaks?' This line effectively commences one of the most renowned and widely recognised scenes in world wide drama. Already, there is allusion to the 'light and dark' imagery that comprises a large part of this scene. From the scene we learn a lot about the relationship of Romeo and Juliet, and the enormous power and strength of their love, which Romeo embodies when he says: 'with love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls'. Act II Scene II illustrates the intensity of Romeo and Juliet's love. This love contrasts with the artificial 'courtly love' played out by Romeo for Rosaline earlier in the play. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo expresses his wish for Juliet to 'be not her maid', which means he would like her to cast of her virginity, saying that her 'vestal livery is but sick and green'. This is a reference to the 'green sickness which virgins were thought to suffer from. When Romeo and Juliet meet at lord Capulet's ball (act I scene V) and share their first kiss, Shakespeare uses a lot of religious imagery: 'Good pilgrim'; 'this holy shrine'; 'saints have hands that pilgrims hands do touch'; 'my sin is purged' are some examples from that scene. Shakespeare further develops this when Romeo and Juliet address and describe each other with phrases such as 'bright angel', 'winged messenger of heaven', and 'dear saint'. Romeo and Juliet is set in a time where religion is exceedingly important to everyone. Therefore, when Shakespeare uses religious language, we see how the love of Romeo and Juliet governs their lives, and religion is 'cast aside' as it seems insignificant in the face of their feelings. There is an element of danger in this scene and both parties are aware of the suddenness of their passion. Juliet makes several references to names and unlike Romeo, seems very aware of the precariousness of their situation. ...read more.

Conclusion

phrase that illustrates the strength of feeling that Romeo has for Juliet: he shows that he would be willing to sacrifice his freedom and in effect his life. It also demonstrates Romeo's romantic nature. In this scene, for the first time, Romeo and Juliet have time to talk. They learn about each other, and fully realise the extent of their mutual adoration. Juliet talks of marriage, although this was a very radical idea for a girl to propose. I think she does this because she wants to make the relationship more stable and assure herself that she will spend the rest of her life with Romeo. She also wants their relationship to be legitimate, and she does not want to be a mistress. I also assume that she is thinking of her earlier conversation with her mother about marriage to one of her suitors, Paris, and is trying to elude this commitment. In this scene, the power of their love is endlessly portrayed to us. Shakespeare mainly does this by showing its magnitude in the lives of Romeo and Juliet, and how it overrides everything they have previously believed in. To Romeo and Juliet this love matters more than their family, their religion, and more than life itself, an allusion to the tragic conclusion of this great play. ...read more.

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