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Romeo and Juliet

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Imagery of Romeo and Juliet Darkness is portrayed in several scenes throughout the play as a representation of pitiful woe and hopelessness. Romeo at the beginning of the play was in a deep state of distress over Rosaline, whom he barely knew and loved for her admirable features. Locked away, he stays in the dark for several days “and makes himself an artificial night” literally and metaphorically because he couldn’t accept the fact that his love for this girl is not returned (I. I. II. 48). Romeo’s behavior expresses how he is completely pessimistic about his situation with Rosaline, knowing things won’t change with her. Along with exemplifying loss, darkness also expresses the sadness of events to come. When Paris visits Juliet in her tomb, the night’s dim glare illustrates the woeful emotions he is feeling. Paris explains to his ‘dead’ fiancé’s corpse that he will come nightly “to strew thy grave and weep” over his loss (VI. III. II. 17). The bitter sorrow is clearly expressed of Paris as he sobs over his love. The dark images of the play draw out the bitter disturbances and the disappointment of the characters when involved in mournful incidents. While the play unfolds, dreams become devices of both foreshadowing and false hopes. Romeo dreamt of his and Juliet’s love’s strength giving him hope for their future. Still in Mantua, he tells his page how his “dreams presage some joyful news at hand” but the images brought Romeo distorted beliefs of his future with his love, which were abruptly shattered with the news of her ‘death’ from the night before in Verona (VI. I. II. 2). As well as the deceitful wishes that dreams have brought upon Romeo, they have also been used to express insight of the near future. As Romeo and Juliet part the morning after their night together, Juliet is brought back to the reality of all the possible consequences that may occur in the next few days, gasping “Methinks I see thee, now art below, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb”, making her fear the departure. Juliet’s fearful dream shakes her in the moment causing her to truly realize and analyze the fearful events that may take place, such as the death of her husband. Dreams have been used to bring mendacious beliefs to Romeo and a new perspective of the near future for Juliet. Throughout the play, unfaithful stars challenge the lover’s destiny, acting as fate. There is no chance for the “star-crossed lovers” to be together, for they were simply not meant to be. The stars are not aligned for them, referring to how fate does not want them together (prologue. II. 6). Romeo even shows his disgust with the diamonds in the sky when learning of Juliet’s ‘passing’. Anger and disbelief pulses through Romeo as he shouts, “I defy you, stars”, challenging the persistent fate (VI. I. II. 25). He acknowledges that there is a force pulling him away from his love. Yet he wants to against destiny by being with Juliet, it is extremely impossible for them to be together.

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