Literary Analysis Of Oxymoron In Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet

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Literary Terms Journal
Oxymoron: two words put together with opposite meanings.
Romeo: O brawling love! O loving hate! Love that comes from nothing! Sad happiness! Serious foolishness! Beautiful things muddled together into an ugly mess! Love is heavy and light, bright and dark, hot and cold, sick and healthy, asleep and awake—it’s everything except what it is! (1.1.166-171).
A wide variety of oxymorons appear within this detailed quote from the compelling love story of Romeo and Juliet which compare opposite (better word for things) such as love and hate, sad happiness, and serious foolishness.
Shakespeare utilizes this piece of dialogue to help the reader comprehend the mixed emotions going on within young Romeo’s head at this point in the
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Mercutio: My invocation is fair and honest. In his mistress' name I conjure only but to raise up him. (2.1.27-29)
Mercutio’s witty statement provides an exquisite example of dramatic irony because he and Benvolio reference Romeo’s mistress, with Rosaline in mind, and they are oblivious to the fact that Romeo now loves Juliet.
Shakespeare incorporates dramatic irony at this specific point in the rising action as a discrete message to the audience that even those who remain super close to Romeo and Juliet are not aware of their secret romantic relationships. Two of Romeo’s best friends remain ou of the loop and are not informed when the love-srtricken Romeo find love and gets married. The importance of this irony appears because the driving antagonistic force behind the tales presents itself as the lack of hate between the two families and how the two enemies fall in love, but the idea of enemies falling in love seems so ridiculous to Romeo’s closest friends that they still believe he yearns for Rosaline.
Symbolism: the use of objects or facts to represent ideas or
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Shakespeare shows a subtle display of symbolism with the poison Romeo buys from the Apothecary, which represents the toxic feud between the Capulets and the Montagues and how their feud just leads to death and destruction.
The symbolic representation demonstrates much importance because the main antagonist of the tragic love tale takes the form of the star-crossed lovers’ family and the feud between them. The specific use of the Apothecary’s poison shows that hate brings nothing except for death and sorrow, similar to how poison does nothing but kill and cause sadness. By tactfully hinting at the symbolism, Shakespeare implies a message, which also comes across as a popular theme of the story, hate accomplishes nothing except causing pain to those surrounded by it.
Foreshadowing: a warning or indication of a future
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