Romeo And Juliet Light Analysis

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If you go to a theatre nowadays, you will expect light effects being used in the play. When it is night, the light is dimmed and the background will be dark. When it is day, bright, yellow light is used to show that. Moreover, light is used to give an indication of the atmosphere. When sad situations occur in the play, blue light is used and when the play turns happier, the lights turn more yellow in the meantime. It has not always been like that. In Shakespeare’s time, theatres were outdoors. The Globe theatre, where most of his plays were performed, does not have a roof. Therefore there are no light effects possible. As a consequence, indications of time have to be included in the play. For example, if a playwright wanted that some piece…show more content…
Shakespeare uses light in this way a few times. For example, when Benvolio describes when he has seen Romeo, he says: “an hour before the worshipp’d sun peer’d forth the golden window of the east” (I,1, 118-119). This beautiful description is used just to describe that Benvolio has seen Romeo one hour before sunrise. Friar Lawrence has an even more beautiful description for sunrise: “The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light, and flecked darkness like a drunkard reels from forth day’s path and Titan’s fiery wheels.” (II, 3, 1-4) All these metaphors are used to give the audience an indication of time. That is, as explained before, necessary because it cannot be made clear by using stage lighting, as that was not available and it also fits the poetric style of Shakespeare, whereas a simple it is 5 o’clock in the morning would have…show more content…
He also describes some of the changes the characters undergo by using a change of light. For example, when Romeo at the beginning of the balcony scene steps into the light of the balcony, he has left his immature love for Rosaline behind him. He has always compared Rosaline with the moon, but now his love for Juliet is outshining it. Therefore, he describes Juliet as the sun. A more drastic change in the characters is when Romeo and Juliet die. Before / Prior to their dead, light and dark have switched places in their metaphorical meaning: in the dark they were safe from dangers. However, after their dead light and dark have their normal metaphorical meanings again: the sun does not break through the clouds, so the day is grey as befits with
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