How Does Shakespeare Present Romeo and Juliet in Act One, Scene 5?

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Sonnet, Love Pages: 2 (389 words) Published: June 24, 2013

Shakespeare presents the theme of love in different ways for each of the characters and for some, such as Romeo, Shakespeare's portrayal of this theme changes as the play progresses. In Act I, Scene V, When Romeo sees Juliet he speaks about her, using the metaphor: "She doth teach the torches to burn bright!" This suggests that Juliet's beauty is almost glowing - stunningly beautiful. Shakespeare also includes alliteration with the phrase - "teach the torches!"; this raises the pace to express an increasing sense of excitement from Romeo as he remains fascinated by Juliet. This phrase is emphasised by the exclamation mark.

Shakespeare then personifies the sky as he compares Juliet's beauty to a star that "hangs upon the cheek of night". By using personification, the audience can understand the trance that has captured Romeo. Shakespeare constantly mentions the contrast between light and dark. He also says the she is 'Like a rich Jewel in an Ethiop's ear'. This shows how Juliet stands out compared with all of the other girls including Rosaline. By using this simile, Shakespeare introduces an aspect of valuableness to love; the jewel to a poor African would be very treasurable and if he's not careful then the jewel or Juliet could be lost forever or tarnished.

When Romeo and Juliet meet they speak just fourteen lines before their first kiss. These fourteen lines make up a shared sonnet. A sonnet is a perfect, ideal poetic form often used to write about love, Shakespeare specialised as such, in writing love sonnets. Capturing the moment that Romeo and Juliet fall in love using a sonnet then creates a perfect match between literary content and formal style. The use of the sonnet, however, also serves a second, darker purpose. The play’s Prologue also is a single sonnet of the same rhyme scheme as Romeo and Juliet’s shared sonnet. If you remember, the Prologue sonnet introduces the play, and,...
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