The Usage Of Opposites In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

667 words - 3 pages

The sun and the moon have nothing in common with each other and nor do the Capulets and the Montagues. The usage of opposites in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is to illustrate the Capulets’ and the Montagues’ polarity.
Opposites involving love and hate strongly reveal to the reader how different the Capulets and the Montagues are. Juliet realizes how she is supposed to hate Romeo when she says “My only love sprung from my only hate!” in act one scene five line 138. The love and the hate is referring to Romeo, who is a Montague. Juliet is a Capulet and referring to a Montague and the differences between the two parties. Romeo says “My life were better ended by their hate, Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love.” What Romeo is saying is that he would rather die f
Juliet than live without her. This is relating back to the Montagues and Capulets. This is because when Romeo says “My life were ...view middle of the document...

During act two scene two lines four to six Romeo says “ It is the east and Juliet is the sun!/Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon/Who is already sick and pale with grief.” When speaking about the moon, Romeo is referring to himself. When Romeo is speaking about the sun, he is referring to Juliet. This is an example of a Capulet and a Montague being compared as opposites. During act three scene five Juliet manifests her want for Romeo to stay with her by saying “It was the nightingale, and not the lark.” The lark and the nightingale are representing the two families through Romeo’s and Juliet’s wants. Juliet wants Romeo to stay so she says it is the nightingale. Romeo says it is the lark because he wants to go so he is not killed. These are two opposites and both Romeo and Juliet who both come from two different houses.
Opposites comparing fighting and peace manifest to the reader that the Capulet and the Montagues are completely opposite. To introduce the piece Shakespeare starts the act one prologue line four with the quote “Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” This shows the opposites of civil and unclean to contrast the Capulets and the Montagues. The Capulets and the Montagues both are civilized, but with their fighting it makes them unclean. In act one scene one lines seventy to seventy-one, Tybalt announces “Talk of peace! I hate the word, /As I hate hell,”. This is happening during the fight. This is Tybalt provoking Montagues. This quote is used to show rivalry because it starts a fight between the Capulets and the Montagues. During the fight in act one scene one Prince Escalus uses the term enemies of peace. To be enemies of peace, one must hate peace. In this case not hating peace means stopping the feuding between the two families, which neither one of the families wants to give up. This is how comparing fighting and peace makes known to the reader the differences between the two families.
Two families can be as different as night and day and hate and love and war and peace. The usage of opposites in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is to illustrate the Capulets’ and the Montagues’ polarity.

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