Writing Devices In Romeo And Juliet

1428 words - 6 pages

Throughout history, there have been few writers whose works have influenced society more than those of the English playwright William Shakespeare. His use of language in all of his plays, especially Romeo and Juliet, is one that impacts its audience both emotionally and intellectually. For anyone wishing to pursue a career specifically in the Language Arts, the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare should be continued to be studied and analyzed for its unique and clever uses of English dialect.
One creative use of language in the play is its imagery. Shakespeare uses it at several points to help his audience better understand the emotions of the characters. For instance, Friar Lawrence is a Franciscan monk who later in the play becomes very involved with the plans of the two lovers, Romeo and Juliet. He says, “The grey-ey’d morn smiles on the frowning night, / Check’ring the eastern clouds with streaks of light” (Shakespeare 41). Here, he is comparing the smiling sun or day, with a sad moon or night, while giving an image of clouds in the sky patterned with light cast from the sun. From this, one can see Friar Lawrence’s kind-hearted character. Another piece of imagery is displayed soon after the two “star-crossed lovers”, Romeo and Juliet, meet. “For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night, / Whiter than new snow upon a raven’s back” (67) is spoken from Juliet to Romeo. This metaphor gives the audience an image of the contrast between light and dark. Juliet, a protagonist in the play, is comparing Romeo’s contrast to the night time as white snow contrasts the black feathers of a raven. To her, Romeo stands out in her dark world. Also, Juliet uses imagery to express hatred towards her allocated husband: Paris. She states that “O’ercover’d quite with dead men’s rattling bones, / With reeky shanks and yellow chapless skulls” (92) is what she would rather have done to herself than become Paris’ wife. When she says this to Friar Lawrence, Franciscan Monk who later helps her fake her death, the audience gets an eerie image of corpses and skulls. As it has been shown, the play Romeo and Juliet has many instances where imagery is predominant; however, there are also numerous cases of dramatic irony.
William Shakespeare uses dramatic irony constantly in his writing to add suspense and make the audience feel sympathy toward the characters. For instance, when the “star-crossed lovers”, Romeo and Juliet, first meet, neither of them detects that their families are mortal enemies. Romeo becomes aware of this from the nurse. “Is she a Capulet? / O dear account! My life is my foe’s debt” (29) is his reaction to the news. Juliet realizes this soon after with, “My only love sprung from my only hate! / Too early seen unknown and known too late” (30). By the time the two realize their family’s state of affairs, they have fallen in love, and by then it is too late. Due to this, sympathy is evoked from the play’s audience. Secondly, dramatic irony within...

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