How Does Shakespeare Use Juxtaposition In Romeo And Juliet

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The characters in Romeo and Juliet have complex personalities, and the setting allows for contradictory scenes. As a result, confusion can often arise because of the characters’ actions in intense situations and reactions to complicated events. Therefore, Shakespeare uses juxtaposition to create a greater understanding of the complexity of his characters. To elaborate Romeo’s complicated perception of love, Shakespeare uses several oxymorons. At the beginning of the play, Romeo is only cheerful when he is with Rosaline (offstage), but she does not love him back. He rants about the love he endures: “Why then, O brawling love! O loving hate!” (1.1.169). The pairing of violence with love illustrates the inner conflict in Romeo. Because his advances …show more content…

Romeo had just killed Tybalt, but instead of executing him, the prince only exiled Romeo. However, Romeo says that “[exile is] torture, and not mercy” (3.3.29). The prince allows Romeo to live in exile rather than die, but he believes exile is the opposite of mercy. The contradictory statement does not make logical sense; nonetheless, it does reveal how much Romeo loves Juliet. He does not want to live without her. However his desire to die rather than to be exiled exposes how selfish his love is. Romeo is only concerned with his own feelings and not Juliet’s. He has no consideration for how Juliet might react to the death of her husband. More evidence of Romeo's self-centered mindset can be found in the scene after Romeo and Juliet have their wedding night. Juliet tries to convince Romeo to stay, and in response to her efforts, Romeo says, “Let me be ta’en, let me be put to death. / I am content . . . ” (3.5.17-18). The pairing of happiness and a willingness to die creates another illogical statement that shows how deep Romeo’s love is for Juliet, and it also displays Romeo’s selfish heart again. Because Romeo is only concerned with his emotional state, he is willing to die after he has obtained euphoria. He does not regard how depressed Juliet would be after his death. Shakespeare’s use of paradoxes explains Romeo’s falsehood of love for

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