Georgia                                               English                                                    10 mcr

Comment on how Shakespeare uses language to communicate the feelings of Romeo and Juliet in Act 2, Scene 2.


‘Romeo and Juliet’ is one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays. It begins with two well-known families who are sworn enemies. Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet fall in love, which then ends in the tragedy of their deaths.

Romeo’s opening soliloquy shows his true feelings towards Juliet. He begins by delivering a simple metaphor. He describes Juliet as “the sun!” This indicates that Juliet is bright, powerful and radiant. Romeo is enchanted by her beauty. Romeo uses allusions to astronomy by referring to the sun, moon and stars throughout the soliloquy. He continues to use these images as personification. “Arise fair sun, and kill the envious moon.” This is suggesting that Juliet’s beauty is powerful enough to destroy the moon – which is jealous of her. “Beyond this world” suggests Juliet’s beauty exceeds all that is on earth.

Romeo also talks about his physical longing to be with Juliet. “O that I were a glove upon that hand, that I might touch that cheek.” This illustrates Romeo’s sexual desire, further by stating that he longs to touch Juliet, as a glove on her cheek would do. Romeo shows his true, inner feelings for Juliet by asking her to “Be not her maid…cast it off!” This is an imperative statement, as he wants her to liberate herself sexually. This symbolizes that Romeo does not just want to be with Juliet, but wants her to cast off her virginal clothes for him, instead of being Diana’s maid. Overall, the evidence implies that Romeo’s physical longing to be with and touch Juliet is very strong. Physical desire as well as strong emotional attachment is another dimension of Romeo’s feelings for Juliet.

Juliet’s monologue begins with her asking, “Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Questioning the meaning of their names. “Deny thy father, and refuse thy name; or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” This suggests that they must sacrifice family relationships to be together. She states that the names of their families represent a conflict, which divides both families, so she would rather give up her family just to be with her beloved Romeo.

Juliet tries to justify her feelings and make sense of things by repeatedly asking questions. “What’s Montague? What’s in a name?” Juliet is painfully aware of the implications of a relationship between them, but does not fully understand why two well-known families should hate each other because of their names. Names represent conflict between the two families. Juliet feels she can only judge Romeo by who he is as an individual, not as part of a family. She continues with, “It is nor hand nor foot nor face nor any other part belonging to a man.” She is saying that body parts make up a person, not a name. “That which we call a rose by any other word would smell as sweet…” Juliet uses ‘rose’ as an example, as it is a romantic symbol, and she believes it would smell just as sweet if it were called something else. The evidence given is very different to Romeo’s soliloquy, however, Juliet’s physical longing to with Romeo is the same as his for her. Juliet is fully aware of the complications they will have. She is very pragmatic and cautious about her actions.

Join now!

In this dialogue, the two lovers confront each other about their situation. They realize the problems they would have if they started a relationship. Romeo begins by saying. “My name, dear saint is hateful to myself, because it is an enemy to thee.” This is a religious tribute, showing respect to Juliet as an exemplary human. Romeo knows his name is Juliet’s enemy, and therefore he believes it is also his own enemy, as he cannot be with Juliet as long as he has that name. Throughout the dialogue, Romeo shows his negative feelings towards what his name represents. ...

This is a preview of the whole essay