In this essay, I am going to analyse scenes from Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ – a tragedy written early in Shakespeare’s career, between 1591 and 1595 – and explore how Shakespeare develops Romeo and Juliet’s relationship in 2 scenes: Act I, Scene V and Act II, Scene II. In the beginning of Act I, Scene V, there is a contrast of light and dark where Romeo sees Juliet for the first time – “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night.
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!”.
The use of the contrast shows that, to Romeo, Juliet is standing out of the crowd at the Capulet’s ball. This also shows us that he has fallen in love with Juliet at first sight. Romeo is expressing his love for Juliet, saying that she is ‘like a rich jewel’ and too precious for the earth. He could also be suggesting that she is of importance and irreplaceable. At the same time, ‘Beauty too rich for us, for earth too dear’ could be interpreted as Romeo implying that Juliet is too precious to live and too glorious for her ‘mortal coil’. At the end of Act I, Scene V, there is use of possessive determiners, where Juliet finds out that Romeo is part of the Montague family –
“My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!”
The use of the possessive determiners could suggest that Juliet is fixated with Romeo after the first time they meet. From this quote I can see that Juliet is very upset by the fact that he is from the House of Montague, since she knows her parents would disapprove of her being in a relationship with Romeo if they knew anything about it. This could be seen as an example of forbidden love, since Romeo and Juliet aren’t supposed to be together in reality as their families have a longstanding grudge against one another. Both Romeo and Juliet defy this and fall in love. We also see contrast as well as exclaimatives and juxtaposition in Act II,...
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