How Does Shakespeare Use Allusions In Romeo And Juliet

793 Words4 Pages

Romeo and Juliet was one of the most popular and frequently performed plays written by William Shakespeare. It follows the tragic romance of two star-crossed lovers named, Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet. The rivalry between two families became the reason for the secret marriage of the lovers and whose death ultimately reconciles their feuding families. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses allusions so the reader can make connections to the story. Allusion is a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare used allusions such as, romance, mythology historical and Biblical passages. These allusions made by the writer could help …show more content…

In Romeo and Juliet, most of the references made by William Shakespeare are either stories of love and tragedy, like the story of Thisbe and Pyramus, or people who represent love, like Cupid, the God of Love or Venus, the Goddess of Love. The story of Thisbe and Pyramus is about two ill-fated lovers who were not allowed to be wed due to their parents’ rivalry. They were both separated by a stone wall, but there was a crack that they used to confess their love for each other. One day, they both agreed to meet at Ninus’ Tomb under a mulberry tree. Thisbe is the first to arrive, but she sees a lioness, mouth filled with blood from a fresh kill, so she flees. Pyramus arrives and sees the lioness and assumes that the lioness had killed her, out of grief, he kills himself. Thisbe returns to see Pyramus dead, she mourns over Pyramus’ death and takes his sword and stabs herself. This can also be connected to Romeo and Juliet because both stories have a similar theme of a tragic love story. A quote regarding the story was spoken by Mercutio saying that,”Thisbe a gray eye or so,/But no to the purpose,” (II.iv. …show more content…

People are able to relate to either the allusion or the events that occur in Romeo and Juliet. Whether it is being rejected by someone you deeply care for, like how Romeo had gotten rejected by Rosaline, who vowed to stay a virgin and become a nun. Also believing in love at first sight which can be related to Romeo and Juliet and their relationship is the story of King Cophetua and the Beggar Maid. King Cophetua is an African king known for his lack of sexual attraction to women. But one day when he was looking out of the palace window, he saw a girl named, Penelophon, who happens to be a beggar. Struck by love at first sight, he promised himself to meet the beggar maid, make her his wife or he will kill himself. “Cupid, he that shot so trim,/ when King Cophetua lov’d the beggar-maid!” which means that both Romeo and Juliet had fallen in love with each other at first sight just like how King Cophetua and the beggar-maid, Penelophon did (II.i.

Open Document