21 terms

Romeo and Juliet Figurative Language

Part III Be able both to identify what type of figurative language is being used, but also WHY; what does it mean?
Romeo: "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright/ It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night/ As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear." (I.v.42-44)
This is a SIMILE.

Romeo is comparing Juliet's beauty to an expensive jewel.
Act I, scene 1, lines 1-3 (I.i.1-3)
"Gregory, on my word, we'll not carry coals.
No, for then we should be colliers.
I mean, an we be in choler, we''ll draw."
Bienvolio: "Madam, an hour before the worshiped sun
Peered forth the golden window of the East"
Romeo: "Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O anything, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!"


Romeo is confused and upset. He tries to describe his feelings about love using contradictory expressions like "loving hate".
"Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!"

Romeo: "Well, in that hit you miss. She'll not be hit
With Cupid's arrow. She hath Dian's wit..."

?? ALLUSION ?? reference to something the reader is expected to know (i.e. Diana's story)

The girl isn't intersted in falling in love. She is like Diana (goddess of chastity, who fended off Cupid's arrows.)
Romeo: "When the devout religion of mine eye
Maintains such falsehood, then turn tears to fires".


Romeo's love for Rosaline is like a religion.
The lie is that others might be more beautiful.

If his love for Rosaline changes because of the lie, let his tears be turned to fire and his eyes be burned.
Romeo: "I fear, too early; for my mind misgives
Some consequence, yet hanging in the stars,
Shall bitterly begin his fearful date
With this night's revels and expire the term.


Romeo is afraid that some terrible event caused by the stars will begin at the party.
Act II Prologue, line 8
Chorus: "And she steal love's sweet bait from fearful hooks."
Romeo: "But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!"


When Romeo sees Juliet at the window, he is speechless (soft=be still). He describes her beauty in glowing images.
"Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief"


Romeo is speaking of Juliet.
Romeo: "Alack, there lies more peril in thine eye
Than 20 of their swords! Look thou but sweet
And I am proof against their enmity."


Smile on me, and I will be defended against my enemies' hatred (enmity).
Romeo: " By love, that first did prompt me to enquire.
He lent me counsel, and I lent him eyes."
Juliet: " My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite."


Her love for Romeo is as deep and boundless as the sea.
Juliet: "To lure this tassel-gentle back again!
Bondage is hoarse and may not speak aloud;"

Juliet uses a metaphor to describe how desperately she wants to call out Romeo's name. The figurative language reflects the popularity of falconry. But, because of her parents, she had to whisper.
Romeo: "Would I were sleep and peace, so sweet to rest!"
Romeo: "There is no world without Verona walls,
But purgatory torture, hell itself.
Hence banished is banish'd from the world,
And world's exile is death. Then "banishment,"
Is death misterm'd. Calling death "banishment,"
Thou cuttst my head off with a golden axe
And smilest upon the stroke that murders me."

Being exiled outside Veron's walls is as bad as being dead. And yet you smile at my misfortune.
Paris: And therefore have I little talked of love;
For Venus smiles not in a house of tears."
Capulet: "Death is my son-n-law, Death is my heir;
My daughter he hath wedded. I will die
And leave him all. Life, living, all is Death's."

My life, my possessions, and everything else of mine belongs to Death.
Juliet: "O, if I wake, shall I not be distraught,
Environed with all these hideous fears"
Friar Laurence: "Like death when he shuts up the day of life;
Each part, deprived of supple government"