Romance and Families – “Romeo and Juliet”
Word Count: 981
The play Romeo and Juliet, an early tragedy, written by the famous playwright and poet William Shakespeare has been performed thousands of times. It has been deconstructed by nearly every school and theatre in the world and can therefore be considered a timeless classic. Shakespeare uses many literary devices and poetic techniques to aid in the telling of this story. These include; foreshadowing, similes, metaphors as well as the use of prose instead of rhymed verse. These literary devices can be seen in the extract from Act 2 Scene 6 Lines 9 - 20. In this extract the Friar is trying to convince Romeo to slow down – ‘marriage is for the long term’ - and if they love each other with such passion the violence of such a passion could easily lead to its destruction.
The first literary device we will look at is the imagery foreshadowing the death of Romeo and Juliet. This is evident in the first two lines of the extract:
“These violent delights have violent ends
And in their triumph die, like fire and powder”
The Friar is literally warning them that when your love fades you will feel twice as poorly as you did before you got married, but figuratively speaking, he is foreshadowing that with their love also comes death, meaning that everything good must come to an end at some point. The quote also uses the simile of “like fire and powder”, these words are destructive as is Romeo and Juliet’s love and also the family feud. The words become truth after the deaths of the star-crossed lovers, which lead to the families ending their feud in honour of their children. Shakespeare uses the simile technique to subliminally give the audience hints of what is soon to eventuate without making it blatantly obvious. Throughout the play Shakespeare foreshadows the lovers death through the use of prose, similes and metaphors to create effective imagery for the audience.
In the text...