Literary Devices in Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet Allusion
- Slides: 16
Literary Devices in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Allusion n An indirect reference to another person, place, or event in literature, history, art, or music. Example: “Tis but the pale reflex of Cynthia’s brow. ” (III, v, 20) (Cynthia was a name for the moon goddess. )
Example from Play n n n Act II, Scene II – Juliet says, “Else would I tear the caves where Echo lies/ And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine/ With repetition of ‘My Romeo!’” Explanation – Echo is a nymph who could only repeat what was said to her. She could not communicate with the one she loved and lived a life of solitude in a cave. Next time you go into a cave say something and you will hear her. Juliet is saying she would say Romeo’s name over and over as if in competition with Echo.
Epithet n A descriptive adjective or phrase used to characterize someone or something. Example: “Romeo! Humors! Madman! Passion! Lover! (II. i. 7)
Meter n Definition: The pattern of syllables in a poem. n Notes: n Iambic Pentameter is one form of meter. n An iamb’s emphasis is unstressed, stressed n n Pentameter refers to the fact there are five feet, or sets of syllables in the line. That makes ten in total. Example: “Two house 1 holds both 2 a like 3 in dig 4 ni ty…” 5
Repetition The return of a word, phrase, stanza form, or effect in any form of literature. n Some types: Alliteration, rhyme, repeating words, refrains. n Example: “Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo? ”
Characterization Definition: The Personality a character displays, also the way the author reveals it. n Example: “Enough of this, I pray thee hold thy peace. ” –Lady Capulet, I, iii, 49 n
Foreshadowing Definition: The use of clues or hints To suggest what action is to come. n Example: Romeo: “By some vile forfeit of the untimely death…” (I, v, 111) n
Oxymoron n Definition: A figure of speech that combines apparently contradictory (opposite) terms Examples: “Parting is such sweet sorrow. ” “Oh loving hate”
Aside n n n A dramatic convention by which an actor directly addresses the audience but is not suppose to be heard by other actors on the stage. ACT II Scene II – Romeo says, “ Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this? ” Explanation – Romeo is asking a rhetorical question to the audience. He is not actually speaking to any of the actors or actresses on the stage and only the audience is suppose to hear his question.
Character Foil n n n Sets off or illuminates the major character – usually to create a contrast that is favorable to the major character. Act I Scene III – The nurse serves as a foil for Lady Capulet Explanation – The nurse rambles using bawdy, common language. She is frank and unrefined. Lady Capulet speaks like a noble woman. Her lines are in blank verse or rhymed couplets. Lady Capulet’s language is indirect and refined.
Irony n Situational Irony – When there is a difference in what the reader/audience is led to expect in a situation and what actually happens. For example, Romeo goes to the party hoping to see Rosaline, but he actually meets and falls in love with Juliet.
n n Dramatic irony– When the reader knows more about the true state of affairs than the characters do. For example, Romeo enters the Capulet tomb and notices how Juliet does not even look dead yet. The audience knows this is because she is not dead.
Monologue n n A long, uninterrupted speech that a character speaks in front of other characters An example would be Mercuito’s Queen Mab speech.
Pun n A play on words based on the similarity of sound between the two words with different meanings (“son” and “sun” or “I” and “eye”)
Soliloquy n n A speech in which a character, alone on the stage, addresses himself or herself to let the audience know his/her inner thoughts/feelings. ACT II Scene III Friar Lawrence is on stage alone and speaks his thoughts so only the audience can hear them.