Essay On Light And Dark Imagery In Romeo And Juliet

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Shakespeare uses light and dark imagery as a way to better describe and introduce his characters. Dark imagery is present in the exposition of the play when Romeo is returning home from his long night out. In a conversation between Lord Montague and Benvolio, Montague is telling his nephew of all the recent strange behaviors Romeo has been carrying out. Montague explains, “Away from light steals home my heavy son And private in his chamber pens himself, shuts up his windows and locks fair daylight out, And makes himself an artificial night. Black and portentous must this humor prove.” (I.i.140-4) This exemplifies dark imagery by describing in detail Romeos chambers as dark and locked up; this dark imagery is helping Shakespeare to define Romeo as a depressed and heartbroken …show more content…
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear” (I.v.51-3) This is light imagery because when Romeo sees Juliet for the first time he is comparing her beauty to burning fire saying she taught the torches how to burn so brightly. Juliet’s elegance and serenity is described by Romeo when he contrasts her with pricey jewels. The monologue helps to provide proof that light imagery is defining Juliet as beautiful, and elegant. The use of light imagery is used yet again to describe Juliet when she is lying dead in the Capulet vault. The falling action of the story when Romeo is saying his final words to ‘dead’ Juliet in a soliloquy holds light imagery. By his dead wife’s side Romeo illustrates, “For here lies Juliet, and her beauty makes This vault a feasting presence full of light.” (V.iii.93-4) This is an example of light imagery because yet again Romeo is highlighting Juliet’s true beauty and essence. Romeo is saying how bright she is and how her beauty lights up the dark and dreary vault; this is defining Juliet's overall character by saying she is beautiful and full of

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