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How does Shakespeare use imagery in his plays, Romeo and Juliet, to intensify the drama, create atmosphere and illuminate his central themes?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare use imagery in his plays, Romeo and Juliet, to intensify the drama, create atmosphere and illuminate his central themes? "It is the east and Juliet is the sun, arise fair sun and kill the envious moon." Romeo is standing underneath Juliet's balcony, Romeo sees Juliet as the centre of his universe thus emphasising the importance of Juliet in his heart. He describes Juliet as being the sun and as she rises she kills the envious moon. Shakespeare uses a lot of imagery and literary techniques to make his plays a lot more. The relevance he used astronomical references in his plays as his audience were Elizabethan, and were keen astronomers. Romeo compares Juliet to the sun; and it is as if Romeo cannot live without Juliet just like he needs the sun, this fits with the end of the play as at the end of the play Romeo thinks that Juliet is dead and with that Romeo kills himself. When Romeo first sees Juliet he expresses her beauty with several comparisons and describes her as someone that stands out in front of the crowd. ...read more.

Middle

A sonnet must be exactly 14 lines long and end with a rhyming couplet. The sonnet in this particular part of the play is used as a dramatic device to separate Romeo and Juliet from the crowd. It is recognisably different to the way Romeo has been talking about Rosaline. Juliet says to Romeo: "For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss." Romeo is touching Juliet's hand, which she thinks he should use to pray with instead. Shakespeare cleverly uses religious imagery to make Romeo and Juliet's love seem special. The effect of the religious imagery in this sonnet is very powerful as it frequently refers to pilgrims. "O then dear saint, let lips do what hands do." Romeo is suggesting here that instead of using hands to pray they should use their lips to pray. This is a very subtle way of asking for a kiss. Shakespeare uses religious imagery to show that Juliet is special to Romeo and that in a way he worships her. ...read more.

Conclusion

We see that in the play Juliet is willing to get red of her name, Capulet for Romeo. This concept shows that Juliet is willing to do anything for Romeo and it links directly to the end of the play where she takes the ultimate act and kills herself for love. The balcony scene links directly to the feuding between the two families as the balcony scene is set in a garden surrounded by high walls, this portrays the fact that Romeo and Juliet are trapped between the feuding of the Montague's and the Capulet's. "The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars, as daylight doth a lamp; her eyes in heaven." Shakespeare likes to use imagery associated with the sky, his imagery techniques are remarkably good as he likes to refer to heaven; their is a close relation between the heaven and angel thus describing Juliet as someone who is in heaven, would portray her as an angel. "O for a falconer's voice, to lure this tassel-gentle back again. ...read more.

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