Romeo and Juliet Quotes-Literary Devices

“From forth the fatal loins of these two foes; A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.” Alliteration: (prologue to Act 1) “f” and “l” soundChorus
“Now old desire doth in his death-bed lie,” Alliteration: ( Act 2. ) d soundChorus
“The day to cheer and night’s dank dew to dry,” Alliteration: (Act 2, Scene 3) This example shows four repetitions of “d.”Friar Lawrence
“If e’er thou wast thyself, and these woes thine, Thou and these woes were all for Rosaline.” Alliteration: ( Act 2, Scene 3) “w” and “th” sounds.Friar Lawrence
“The very pin of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy’s butt-shaft: and is he a man to encounter Tybalt?” Alliteration: (Act 2, Scene 4) The “b” sound is repeated four times.Mercutio
“Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds Towards Phoebus’ lodging!” Alliteration: ( Act 3, Scene 2) This shows that alliteration is not just the letter but the sound with “fiery”, “footed” and Phoebus.”Juliet
“As Phaethon would whip you to the west,” Alliteration: (Act 3, Scene 2) The “w” is being repeated.Juliet
“I have a faint cold fear thrills through my veins, That almost freezes up the heat of life.” Alliteration: ( Act 4, Scene 3) The “f” sound is used three times.Juliet
“When griping grief the heart doth wound, And doleful dumps the mind oppress,” Alliteration: ( Act 4, Scene 5) Alliteration is found in the “g” and “d” sounds.Peter
Pun a joke based on the use of a word, or more than one word, that has more than one meaning but the same sound.
Mercutio: “Nay, gentle Romeo, we must have you dance.” Romeo: “Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes / With nimble soles; I have a soul of lead…” (I iv 13-5) Pun: Romeo has used the word “sole” when referring to Mercutio’s shoes, then made a pun by referring to his own “soul.”
Foreshadowing when a piece of dialogue or action in a work refers to events that will happen later in the story even though the characters have no prior knowledge such events will occur.
“Take thou some new infection to thy eye, / And the rank poison of the old will die” (I ii 49-50) Foreshadowing: Benvolio foreshadows the fact that as soon as Romeo sees Juliet, the “new infection,” the “rank poison” of Rosaline dies and he can think only of his new Capulet love.
Metaphor A comparison in which an object or person is directly likened to something else that could be completely unrelated.
“But, soft! what light through yonder window breaks? / It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.” (II ii 2-3) Metaphor: Romeo metaphorically compares Juliet to the sun despite the fact that she has nothing physically in common with a glowing star hundreds of thousands of miles away.
Personification when an inanimate object or concept is given the qualities of a person or animal
“For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night / Whiter than new snow on a raven’s back. / Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow’d night” (III ii 18-20) Personification: night does not have wings, nor does it have a brow, but giving it these qualities adds a mystique to Juliet’s monologue and a poetic quality to the language.
Oxymoron describes when two juxtaposed words have opposing or very diverse meanings
“Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!” (III ii 77) Oxymoron: Juliet has just learned that Romeo murdered her cousin, Tybalt, and she is venting her feelings of anger at her lover for hurting her family.When Juliet refers to Romeo as a “beautiful tyrant,” she is expressing an oxymoron because the acts of a tyrant will rarely be referred to as beautiful.
Paradox a statement or situation with seemingly contradictory or incompatible components. On closer examination, however, the combination of these components is indeed appropriate. Shakespeare manages to make the form (how it’s being said) match up with the content (what’s being said).
“O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!” (III ii 75) Paradox: Juliet knows that Romeo is not a serpent nor does he have a face full of flowers, her use of these descriptions show how paradoxically he is her lover and the murderer of her cousin at the same time.
“When I have fought with the men I will be civil with the maids—I will cut off their heads […] the heads of maids or their maidenheads” (1.1.20-24) Pun: Sampson crudely puns on the term “maidenhead” (virginity) when he equates sword fighting against men with raping women:
“parting is such sweet sorrow” (2.2.184) Oxymoron: Juliet at the end of the balcony scene
O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!Dove-feather’d raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!Despised substance of divinest show!Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st,A damned saint, an honourable villain!O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell,When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiendIn moral paradise of such sweet flesh?Was ever book containing such vile matterSo fairly bound? O that deceit should dwellIn such a gorgeous palace! (3.2.73-85.1) Oxymora and paradoxes: Juliet is experiencing mixed emotions—she wonders how the love of her life, could be a killer. The literary devices give expression to her turmoil.
“My only love, sprung from my only hate” (1.5.138) Paradox: Juliet voicing a major paradox in the play. By using oxymora and paradox through the play, Shakespeare manages to make the form (how it’s being said) match up with the content (what’s being said).

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