Light and Dark Imagery in Rome and Juliet

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Adding Clouds to More Clouds:
An Analysis of Shakespeare's Use of Light and Dark Imagery In Romeo and Juliet

Night is a time when the rigidity of family feuds can be suspended, when lovers can be freed of societal dicta; but it is also a time when hierarchy, taboo, and humane principles can be violated. -Triple-Threat Shakespeare, Jeanne Roberts

Romeo is longing for love when he says he has a soul of lead, and is pierced by cupid's shaft. The oxymoron ‘she speaks, yet says nothing' describes Romeo's circumstances brilliantly. Such imagery could only be used to illustrate precisely how Romeo feels. In the play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare's light and dark imagery functions to express deep emotion. Themes are made more relevant to an audience by using common images and using symbolic representation. Shakespeare uses light imagery in Romeo and Juliet when Romeo compares "Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,"(II.ii.15) to the brightness and shining of Juliet's eyes. He goes on to say, "As daylight doth a lamp; her eye in heaven

Would through the airy region stream so bright."(II.ii.21)

This light imagery explains how Romeo sees Juliet's elegance. He is mesmerized by Juliet's beauty, and complements her without end. He is a young lad that has followed a heart, and his rash heart has led Romeo to Juliet. Romeo wishes for nothing but to be

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with her. Shakespeare's conceits express how deeply passionate Romeo is to be with Juliet through use of light imagery. Themes are made identifiable by using common images. Montague said,
With tears augmenting the fresh morning's dew,
Adding clouds to more clouds with his deep sighs,"(I.i.135/136)

because he is distressed over Romeo's emotional state. Montague has seen Romeo come home in the morning, and he often looked sorrowful. He is concerned for his son and is describing the depth of Romeo's sadness by using the dark image parallel of clouds. Clouds are often thought of as...
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