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2 pages /
The Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet, a play written by William Shakespeare, is set in Verona where two families, Montague and Capulet, have a long feud between them. This conflict causes a dilemma for the two adolescent lovers, Romeo and Juliet that are secretly married, and find love against all the obstacles they face. The power of love gives them the strength to go beyond the traditional conventions of love. These two lovers are constantly surrounded by opposing forces and feuds between their families. However, the feud does not stop them from finding true love in another. The tragedy of Romeo and Juliet revolves heavily on the idea of fate and fortune.
Act 5, scene 3 demonstrates Juliet’s loving commitment to Romeo. This is evidenced by how Juliet envisions her love and affection for Romeo. As part of their plan to be together, Juliet needs to drink a potion that would make her appear dead. As she is lying in bed waiting to receive this potion she envisions her body being laid to rest in the Capulet tomb. She considers the idea of the potion being poison. Her willingness to die for love demonstrates that she will wholeheartedly concede to spending the rest of her life with her true love despite her parents' opposition. However, her excitement is filled with both happiness and fear. Throughout Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare has held up suicide as an inherent aspect of intense love. Passion cannot be stifled, and when combined with the vigor of youth, it expresses itself through the most convenient outlet. Romeo and Juliet, long survive for love or die for it. Shakespeare considers this self-destructive impulse, not as a thing cut loose from love, but rather as an element as much a part of it as the romantic euphoria. As such, the double suicide represents each the fulfillment of their love for one another and the dangerous impulse that has surged and flexed to their love throughout the play. Soon after Juliet begins to have premonitions in which she sees Tybalt's ghost searching for Romeo. She envisions herself waiting for Romeo in the tomb. This demonstrates that by seeing herself in the tomb she is actualizing her love for Rome. The power of love takes control over her at the moment in which she is thinking about dying for her true love. Juliet's love for Romeo is visible in her willingness to drink the potion, despite her profound fears and the possibility of death.
Throughout this excerpt, there are many literary devices used. During Juliet’s soliloquy, Juliet describes her fear in an unusual way saying “I have...fear...that almost freezes up the heat of life.” This is an oxymoronic phrase because freeze and heat are used in the same sentence and heat cannot be frozen. This is used to describe Juliet’s growing apprehension of the plan made with Friar Lawrence Juliet understands that she might die after consuming the potion that was presented to her by Friar Lawrence. Juliet starts to think of ghosts and being haunted by these ghosts. In her premonition, she sees herself as not alive but rather in another world. This is an example of foreshadowing whereby her envisioning of a ghost is a symbol of the overarching theme of fate. Romeo and Juliet ultimately end up dead and the ghost is a reference to their approaching deaths. When Juliet begins to worry about her death she says “lay thou there” it is an example of alliteration, because the repeating phonetic sound of “th” is representative of her fear and concern for the unknown. The unknown is the possibility of death as a result of the power of love. Juliet also foreshadows her own death by saying “God knows when we shall meet again.” This prepares the audience and assists in anticipating Juliet’s death. A simile is also used to describe Juliet’s waking in her tomb as “like /the horrible conceit of death and night.” Juliet is comparing death and night as a fearful vision, thus saying waking up in the tomb is frightful. An example of personification and simile is used when Juliet says “shrieks like mandrakes’ torn out of the earth.” Mandrakes are plants whose roots were thought to have a resemblance to human features, and when separated from the earth will emit shrieks. This is personification because plants do not shriek. This is also comparing the shrieks of her ancestors to the shrieks of mandrakes being pulled out of the earth.
The story of Romeo and Juliet is about the struggles of the love between two people and the hate that surrounds them. This specific excerpt shows significant character development for Juliet which reveals her beginning doubt and how she overcomes it through her love for Romeo. In a grander scale, the potion poses as a determinant or indicator for the eventual death of Romeo and Juliet, with regards to other factors as well. We are encountered with a multitude of literary devices describing chaotic emotions. All in all, the passage is a crucial stepping stone of character and plot development.
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