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Figurative Language In William Shakespeare’s Tragic Play, Romeo And Julie

1147 words - 5 pages

In William Shakespeare’s tragic play, Romeo and Juliet, his skillful use of figurative language takes the reader on a roller coaster of emotions over a short period of time. Shakespeare’s rich character development illustrates how one’s affections can be dramatically altered in a matter of hours. Throughout the play, he uses the literary method of personification to show this change. When this method is used, it forces the reader to look at a character’s lines through different eyes, pushing them to see the deeper meaning. Personification is the literary device Shakespeare uses to express his own thoughts and views on the themes love as lust, clouded judgment, and death.
Shakespeare’s use ...view middle of the document...

ii.85-86). Personifying that love has borrowed Romeo’s eyes to lead him to his beloved Juliet shows the reader that Romeo is mixing up lust and love. Romeo thinks that Juliet’s beauty has made him fall in love and allow him to find her, hence love has borrowed his eyes. In this dramatic tragedy, Shakespeare’s personification expresses to the reader that love is often mistaken as lust and leads the mind to think beauty is all that matters.
Personification displays Shakespeare’s theme that when people have extreme emotions, their judgment is clouded. Juliet’s mind is clouded when she hears of Romeo’s banishment because she thinks there is nothing worth living for without Romeo. When the nurse tells Juliet Romeo is banished to Mantua, personification shows her devastated response and causes her to not want to live: “[t]o prison, eyes; ne’er look on liberty./Vile earth to earth resign; end motion here,/And thou and Romeo press one heavy bier” (III.ii.64-66). Personifying Juliet’s eyes going to prison helps the reader to observe that because Juliet is distraught; she is not thinking clearly about the outcome of the situation. Juliet says she would rather see nothing and be dead, than be without Romeo. From this the reader can infer that Juliet’s mind is clouded by sorrow which is causing her to say irrational things. When Friar Lawrence tells Romeo of his punishment for slaying Tybalt, he is extremely distressed. He believes he would rather be dead than be without Juliet, because his life will not be complete without her. The Friar tries to talk sense to him, but Romeo uses personification to reply that his wisdom is not helpful in the current situation: “[u]nless philosophy can make a Juliet,/Displant a town, reverse a prince’s doom,/It helps not, it prevails not. Talk no more” (III.iii.61-63). Shakespeare uses Romeo to personify that philosophy cannot make a new Juliet, a new town nor can it change a prince’s punishment. This explains to the reader that Romeo’s mind is clouded. When one is agitated, they tend to act pessimistically and say rash things without thinking them through. Through personification, Shakespeare shows when dealing with intense emotions, people often have clouded judgment.
Generally death is feared by people, but in Romeo and Juliet,...

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