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The Greatest Playwight In History Essay

1236 words - 5 pages

“O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” ( Act II: Sc.2, line 135) One should had came across this popular expression from Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet many times during one’s lifetime. Influenced by the famous play, this expression, used often as mockery, described a person deep in desperate love. Romeo and Juliet was a heart-breaking play about the two star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, and their fight to break the boundaries set between them. Through his powerful usage of the English language in Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare was able to bring tears, laughter, and anger to his audience by portraying the story of the human struggle against the forces of fate, emotion, and misfortune. Much of Shakespeare’s influence on his audience came from his expertise on literary devices, on appealing to both the educated classes and the ordinary classes, and on knowing the human emotions and pursuits with great knowledge. Therefore, Shakespeare was successful as a dramatist from his time and on forever.
First, Shakespeare was the master of the literary devices. In Romeo and Juliet, the three main literary devices most commonly used were imageries, metaphors, and foreshadows. Imagery in this play was used to appeal to the audience’s senses. During Shakespeare’s time, plays were generally set at broad daylight with few costumes and props. Shakespeare relied heavily upon the power of the English language in order for the audience to conjure up the settings in their minds. To assist his audience, Shakespeare carefully described the unfolding scene while providing “hints” to the time and the weather. “What envious streaks do lace the severing clouds in yonder east.” (Act III: Sc. 5, lines 7-8) This quotation beautifully described a clear day with a beautiful sunrise, which told the audience that the scene was held at dawn. Metaphor had also been expertly utilized by Shakespeare in Romeo and Juliet. With the usage of metaphors, Shakespeare was able to convey multiple meanings of a single world to the audience. For example, the quotation: “What light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.” (Act II: Sc. 3, lines 2-3) By the single word “sun”, Shakespeare was able to fill his audience with a line of descriptive words describing Juliet, such as beauty, strength, and radiance. Not only was metaphor widely used in Romeo and Juliet, but also was foreshadowing. Foreshadowing was generally used to convey an approaching dramatic event, in this case it was death, that would greatly affect the protagonist. Romeo and Juliet were quite aware of their early deaths through dreams and omens, but they chose to embrace their fate. “ With this night’s revels and expire the term of a despised life closed in my breast by some vile forfeit of untimely death. But He, that hath the steerage of my course, direct my sail!” (Act I: Sc. 4, lines 109-113) Romeo had a premonition of his premature death before going to the Capulet party; however,...

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