Honors English I
16 November 2011
This play is a tale of two lovers, tied together by death due to ancient family hostility. Throughout the play, this couple, madly in love, made every effort to see each other. The love-struck pair secretly wed and planned to escape Verona together. Despite their families’ many quarrels, true love prevailed; they died in each other’s embraces and the feud between the Montagues and the Capulets came to an end. In Romeo and Juliet, a sweetly painful drama, Shakespeare uses metaphors, oxymorons, and foreshadowing to convey powerful emotions. William Shakespeare incorporated several poignant metaphors throughout Romeo and Juliet. A metaphor is a comparison between two things, but unlike a simile, the words “like” or “as” are not used. Relating back to the play, Mercutio says, “True, I talk of dreams; which are the children of an idle brain, begot nothing but vain fantasy” (Shakespeare 1.4.96-98), which metaphorically explains how dreams are vain, senseless ideas. This comparison aids the reader in understanding Mercutio’s view of dreams. From the famous balcony scene, Romeo says, “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun!” (Shakespeare 2.2.2-3). This parallel between Juliet and the sun adds to the emotion of Romeo’s heartfelt soliloquy. Also, in his soliloquy, Romeo compliments Juliet by saying “Two of the fairest stars in all the Granberry 2
heaven, having some business, do entreat her eyes” (Shakespeare 2.2.15-16). He is comparing her eyes to stars in heaven, which emphasizes his infatuation for her. Overall, the metaphors of Romeo and Juliet enrich the play and enable the readers to visualize their love.
An oxymoron is a figure of speech in which obviously contradictory terms appear in conjunction. Shakespeare often uses oxymorons to convey the characters’ feelings. After Juliet hears that Romeo killed her cousin...