Romeo and Juliet: Night - Rejoice or Rebel?

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Romeo and Juliet: Night - Rejoice or Rebel?

Night can be seen in two contrasting ways. The first can be summarized as a time for celebration and love. The second, and most commonly associated with night, is a time of darkness and horror. Two shining examples of the different emotions and reactions brought on by darkness are the books Night by Elie Wiesel and Romeo and Juliet by well-known author, William Shakespeare. In Romeo and Juliet night has a positive image, a welcomed time for love, protection and exchanging of covenants, while in Night the image is portrayed in a negative way, a time for fear, suffering, and death.

Night in the great romances is a greeted time of romance and in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet a time to hide from the harsh reality of the outside world. Juliet greatly yearns for the coming of night. "And bring in cloudy night immediately. Spread thy close curtain..." (Shakespeare Act III Scene ii:4-5) Juliet is very eager for night to come as she uses the word "immediately," which is very strong and demanding. Her true love, Romeo, is also associated with night. "Come, night, come Romeo, come thou day in night." (Shakespeare Act III Scene ii:17)

Shakespeare uses night also as a time for exchanging of vows. "Lady, by yonder, blessed moon I vow, That tips with silver all these fruit tree tops -- -". (Shakespeare Act II Scene ii:106-107) After Romeo's vow Juliet later promises during the welcomed night to be loyal to him throughout his life. Under the cloak of darkness she is unafraid to pledge, "And all my fortunes at thy foot I'll lay, And follow thee my lord throughout the world." (Shakespeare Act II Scene ii:146-147)

Night has a third important role of protecting Romeo at first when he trespasses to the Capulet Mansion and later when Romeo, then banished, meets Juliet for the final time. "I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes..." (Shakespeare Act II Scene ii:74)

Night, although it can be a time of...
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