Romeo and Juilet Imagery

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Throughout the play "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare, the author uses light or the absence of light to enhance and/or contribute to the mood of a particular scene. As viewers watch Romeo and Juliet fall in love, the obstacles that complicate their unfair love become very obvious. Shakespeare uses light and dark images to add to the mood of his play. Usually in text and stories from the beginning of time, to modern-day, light would correspond with good, and dark with evil. Shakespeare on the other hand would often make dark imagery have a positive impact and light have a negative impact to add more visual depth depending on the scene and mood.

In the scene where Romeo first sees his future lover (Juliet), he compares her to the brilliant light of the torches and taper that light up Capulet's great hall. "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!"(Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet. 1.5.44) Juliet is "good" the light that frees him from his "dark" melancholy state. Before Juliet came into Romeo's life, he was sad and his heart was empty but when Romeo notices her for the first time he became whole and truelove filled his heart.

One of the most important instances of imagery in the book is during Juliet's balcony scene. In this scene Romeo and Juliet are alone together for the first time before his exile, but as soon as dawn breaks Romeo must leave. Both try to pretend that it is still night, and that the light is actually darkness. "More light and light, more dark and dark our woes."(3.5.36) When the light comes, darkness in the two lovers' heart's set in. This is an example of when Shakespeare switches the imagery. Despite all the positive reference to light in the play, in the end it takes a negative role in this scene.

In the last scene you can see the switches of imagery, it appropriately takes place in the dark. Romeo is shocked because Juliet's beauty defies death. Shakespeare once again uses light and dark imagery to describe Juliet as she...
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