How Juliet’s language shows her love for Romeo The 1694 play Romeo and Juliet introduced to the world thelove story of two of litterature’s most prominent historical star crossedlovers. The two characters in question are Romeo and Juliet, whose loveoverthrows the balance of their world. Before meeting Romeo in Act 1, scene 5,Juliet appears to be an intelligent child, mature beyond her years and devotedto her family. This situation is completely overturned once Romeo, her firsttrue love, enters the seemingly perfect picture that is her life.
Shakespearecommunicates the love that Juliet possesses for Romeo wonderfully with the useof distinct language techniques. In particular, Juliet’s love for Romeo iscrafted into the story and demonstrated best through her soliloquy, poetic useof metaphors, selfless tone and her style of speech, as well as use of verse. Firstly, Juliet’s soliloquy about Romeo and the obstacles in theirrelationship clearly demonstrates her love for him. This intense and romanticallycentered soliloquy that Juliet exclaims on her balcony shows a mixture offeelings including worrisome indecision, as well as passionate love. Romeo isthe principal subject, and this shows us that Juliet most probably already harborsdeep feelings for him.
The second time she speaks, Juliet says “Oh Romeo,Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Here one can also see the use of a rhetoricalquestion. The author’s intention regarding this quote was probably for theaudience to empathize with Juliet and understand her despair at the fate thatcalled her to love a Montague. The audience then wonders if this perhaps hasany regard to the star-crossed factor of their love which is mentioned in theprologue.
Another rhetorical question is “What’s a Montague?”, an interestingquestion which demonstrates Juliet’s maturity as she disregards the belief thatyour name makes you yourself. This quote makes the audience realize that Julietis indeed a persistent character who cares enough for Romeo to find the will towork her way around both of their names and their implications. Another quotewhich expresses Juliet’s feelings is “That which we call a rose by any othername would smell as sweet. So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called.” where sheclaims that the name of a rose does not define its sweetness. This is an intriguingchoice of object, and the author very probably chose it due to itsconnotations, which vary from color of rose but are most commonly romance, mystery,innocence, and interestingly, the unattainable or impossible. The audiencecould then see that the love happening here was something which is intolerableto fate.
This is also an example of a metaphor used by Juliet where Romeo isthe rose. Juliet’s wonderfully poetic and beautiful use of metaphors onceagain allows us to see that she loves Romeo. An example of such a metaphor is”This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, may prove a beauteous flowerwhen we next meet.” Here Juliet compares her and Romeo’s romance to a bud oflove, meaning it is newborn, fragile, then she says that by summer’s ripeningbreath it may prove a beauteous flower when they next meet, which shows thatshe is confident they will meet again, and that their love will flourish andnot simply die down. This shows that Juliet truly wishes for the relationshipto work, and is not content with Romeo simply forgetting her afterwards. Julietthen proceeds to call Romeo a “bounty as boundless as the sea” and follows upwith “My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both areinfinite.” The author’s intention here was to show that Juliet has idealizedRomeo and in her eyes he is a masterpiece of perfection, and realize that herlove for Romeo endless, as the more she gives him the more she gains, showingthe never-ending cycle of love which she has for him. Juliet uses oxymoronhere, exaggerating Romeo greatly, yet in her eyes probably not so much so.
Here, once again Juliet has used a metaphor related to nature, which leads meto believe that she thinks of their love as something natural, which man has nocontrol over in the same way the force of nature is incontrollable, everlastingand powerful beyond description. A little farther down their exchange, Julietmetaphorically refers to Romeo as the “god of her idolatry”, showing theaudience her devotion to him, as well as how their love is star-crossed, due tothe fact that Romeo is in some way taking the place of God, which is aninacceptable concept to those who follow religions, as it is assumed Juliet andher family do. This could be a comparison to how their love goes against herreligion, in the same way it goes against their families.
As well as Juliet’s use of metaphors, her selfless tone near theend of act 1 scene 5 shows us the nature of her love and further proves herfeelings for Romeo. An example of her selflessness can be seen when she says”Deny thy father and refuse thy name, or if thou will not, be but sworn mylove, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet”, where her desperation and readiness tolose her own titles and name to be with Romeo prove that what she is after islove, and not his name or the prestige that comes with it. Furthermore, Julietis a young and extremely volatile character, and this is never betterdemonstrated than in this scene, where Juliet falls in love with Romeoinstantly and all but takes her marriage vows in the following 30 minutes.However, all of a sudden, Juliet tells Romeo that she finds the contract “too rash,too unadvised, too sudden”, which means Juliet suddenly has hesitations abouttheir love, and wishes for some time to go by and ensure that it will last.
Next, when they are in the process of saying their goodbyes, Juliet expressesher wish to have him gone, “And yet no farther than a wanton’s bird.”, whichshows how much she wishes for his proximity, though she then says a few linesfarther down that “(Juliet) should kill thee with much cherishing” with whichshe means that she cherishes him so that she could metaphorically kill him, andis worried her love will cause him troubles. This could cause the audience tobegin to wonder whether their wish for mutual proximity is what will give themaway and ignite the star crossed factor of their romance. In addition to her selfless tone, Juliet’s style of speech and useof verse shows us her initial opposition to Romeo’s courtship, then heracceptance of it and reciprocation.
Her first distinct style of speech is acopy of Romeo’s, in their first exchange, where Romeo uses the format of asonnet, respecting the appropriate rhyming scheme, syllable count and use ofiambic pentameter. For example; Romeo finishes the last line of his firstspeech with “To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”, and Juliet then finishes her last line in accordance withhis; “and palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss”. Thiscopying of his rhyme scheme could show that she has not had enough contact withthe world and practice to form her own style of speech yet. Secondly, the metaphoricaland religious connotations scattered in their conversation show us the holyethereality of their love, as Romeo compares Juliet to a saint, and himself toa pilgrim, showing that their love is something pure and other-worldly. Lastly,Juliet’s turns of phrase in initial opposition to Romeo show her playful flirtatiousness,such as when she answers Romeo’s question of whether saints have lips with: “Ay pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.
“, and then eventually surrenders to Romeo once she allows him tokiss her, claiming that he “kiss(es) by the book”. In conclusion, it is incredibly interesting to see how Juliet’ssoliloquy, poetic use of metaphors, selfless tone and her style of speech, aswell as use of verse prove her love for Romeo. However, although it would seemthat Juliet’s love for Romeo is absolute, one is perhaps left to wonder if suchis the case with Romeo as well, due to the fact that he has recently beenrefused by his supposed one true love Rosaline, is he perhaps seeking solace inthe next lady whom appears to fall for him in the way Juliet does? Although itseems illogical that Romeo would cause such dishonor to his family, is there apossibility, however remote, that he resents the quarrel between them fromseparating him from Rosaline? The interwoven romances in this theatre piece,specifically the one revolving around Romeo and Juliet is a fascinating topicdue to the unique hidden factors within their language, which leave so much forthe reader to divine, that an individual interpretation can be formed by everyperson to ever witness this mystery-clouded love story.