Motifs of Light and Darkness in Romeo and Juliet

Motifs of Light and Darkness in Romeo and Juliet

  • Submitted By: Stuti-Ahuja
  • Date Submitted: 04/05/2015 7:38 AM
  • Category: English
  • Words: 2059
  • Page: 9
  • Views: 2

Motifs of light and darkness run through the play. How do these references to day and night, sun, moon and stars, torches and lightning provide metaphors for what happens in the play? What kind of feelings do these images arouse in the reader?

In William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, a 3 days long feud between the Montague and Capulet families disrupts the city of Verona and causes tragic results for Romeo and Juliet. Revenge, love, and a secret marriage force the young star-crossed lovers to grow up quickly — and fate causes them to commit suicide in despair. The entire story of Rome and Juliet involves contrast, and difference. This is best seen with: The families, the love of Romeo and Juliet, the opposing characters, and the fate and destinies of each character; and how such destiny effects Romeo and Juliet as characters.

The three most important aspects of Romeo and Juliet:
The first half of Romeo and Juliet, with its bawdy jokes, masked ball, and love poetry, is more like a Shakespearan tragedy than comedy. Only after Tybalt kills Mercutio near the play's midpoint do things become tragic.
Near the start of Romeo and Juliet's famous balcony scene. Juliet asks "Wherefore art thou Romeo?" Because the word "wherefore" means "why," Juliet is wondering why the boy she loves is called what he's called — not where he is, as many readers believe.
Juliet is a mere 13 years old, and Romeo is not much older.

Symbols and motifs are key to understanding Romeo and Juliet as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary. One of the play’s most consistent visual motifs is the contrast between light and dark, often in terms of night/day imagery. This contrast is not given a particular metaphoric meaning—light is not always good, and dark is not always evil. On the contrary, light and dark are generally used to provide a sensory contrast and to hint at opposed alternatives. One of the more important instances of this motif is Romeo’s...

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