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Juxtaposition In Romeo And Juliet

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The Power of Contrast in Literature Juxtaposition is defined as a side by side contrast. Shakespeare uses this literary device throughout many of his works to demonstrate the intricacies of his characters. He uses juxtaposition in Romeo and Juliet to show the chararcters’ complexity and inner conflict. Juliet is a perplexing character because her feelings for Romeo go from being clear to vague. When Juliet first encounters Romeo she is infatuated with him; however, as their relationship progresses, she questions her affection for him: “Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing” (2.2.184). Juliet is saying that she loves him to death, which shows that she still loves Romeo even though he can put her into an irritable mood. Juliet calls Romeo a “Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical! Dove-feathered raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!” after the Nurse reveals that Romeo was Tybalt’s murderer (3.2.75-76). Juliet shows her inner conflict when she sees a handsome but deadly Romeo. This indirect characterization shows Juliet’s complexity by exhibiting her many…show more content…
When Romeo is still in love with Rosaline he describes their relationship using several contradictory adjectives: “Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health” (1.1.173). These oxymorons reveal that Romeo is confused and has conflict when trying to comprehend his affection for Rosaline. Although Romeo is vulnerable, Shakespeare also uses juxtaposition to show that he is always fixated on Juliet’s light and beauty. Romeo describes Juliet as a “snowy dove trooping with crows” when he is at the party in the Capulet’s house (1.5.46). When Romeo first sees Juliet, he judges her based off of her appearance, this shows that he is quick to jump to conclusions and is immature. Romeo is a complex character because he can be emotionally unstable, childish and vulnerable, in spite of trying to become an
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