Light And Dark Imagery In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

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In films and literature, darkness often represents fear and misery, whereas light portrays joy and cheerfulness. Shakespeare undoubtedly utilizes these connotations in his tragedy Romeo and Juliet, as light imagery is used in order to establish joyous atmospheres and display the elation of being in love, whereas dark imagery is used to create tension and portray the distress that love can inflict. Thus, through Shakespeare’s use of light and dark imagery in Romeo and Juliet, it is undeniable that he effectively creates atmosphere and reinforces the theme of love as a source of joy and pain. Firstly, light imagery is used in pursuance of establishing a romantic atmosphere, whereas dark imagery is employed in order to generate suspense. Throughout the play, Romeo frequently describes Juliet as a source of light that brightens his life, which displays his impetuous passion to be with her, consequently creating a romantic atmosphere. This is proven at the Capulet ball when Romeo sees Juliet for the first time and he exclaims, O she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night As rich a jewel in Ethiop’s ear― Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. (1.5.43-46)
In this quotation, Romeo
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Thus, light imagery is effectively used to establish the romantic atmosphere of Romeo and Juliet’s first encounter, whereas dark imagery is used to foreshadow the dreadful events of the play’s conclusion, therefore creating a suspenseful atmosphere. Moreover, characters in the play use light imagery as they experience the elation of love, yet also dark imagery as they feel the heartbreak of rejection. Thus, as shown in Romeo and Juliet, the balance between light and darkness, happiness and sadness is a natural occurrence, which one cannot prevent nor
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