Literary Elements Romeo and Juliet Alliteration n Repetition
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Literary Elements Romeo and Juliet
Alliteration n Repetition of consonant sounds at beginning of words. Act I, scene iii: Juliet says, “I’ll look to like, if looking liking move. ” n
Allusion n Reference to a literary or historical character or event n Act I, scene i: Romeo alludes to Cupid and Diana from Roman mythology n
Antagonist n A character or force in conflict with a main character.
An apostrophe n Character speaks to a person or idea that isn’t or can’t be present Act III, scene iii: Nurse says, “O, Tybalt, the best friend I had! (He’s dead) n
Aside n Lines spoken by an actor to himself or directly to the audience. n Act III, scene 5: Juliet responds to Lady Capulet, “Villain and he be many miles asunder. ”
Comic relief n Humor inserted into the play to break a serious mood n Act V, scene 5: Conversation between Peter and themusicians.
Dramatic Irony n When a character’s words or actions have one meaning for the character and a different meaning for the audience or reader. n Act III: Juliet’s despair is interpreted by her father as sadness for Tybalt’s death when in fact she is in despair over Romeo’s banishment.
Foil n A character that highlights or brings out the personality traits of another character in the play. n Act I, scene 1 Benvolio, who tries to quiet the brawling servants, is a foil to the fiery Tybalt. Also, his calm and sensible disposition is a foil to the moody and emotional Romeo.
Foreshadowing: n Use of clues to suggest what is going to happen. n Prologue at the beginning of the play describe the lovers as “star-crossed”
Imagery n Language that appeals to the senses.
metaphor n Compares too dissimilar things. n Act II, scene ii: Romeo says, “Juliet is the sun!”
Monologue n A lengthy speech delivered by a character and is addressed to other characters in the play, not the audience. n Act I, scene 4: Mercutio’s speech to Romeo about Queen Mab, Act III: Friar Lawrence’s speech to Romeo about being fortunate n
Oxymoronn Description that contains a self-contradiction. n Juliet says to Romeo, “Parting is such sweet sorrow…” Damned saint Honorable villain n n
Personification n Object is given human or animal characteristics n Act II, “Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon who already sick and pale with grief…”
Prologue n n Brief opening section of the play spoken by a single actor called “the chorus” Welcomes the audience and gives them a taste of the story.
Protagonist n Main character in a literary work
Pun n A play on the multiple meanings of a work, or on two words that sound alike but have different meanings. n Romeo and his friend Mercutio clown around a the start of the play Romeo and Mercutio trade wits in a series of more sophisticated puns Some are barely understandable today n n
Rites of passage n n Romeo discovers the difference between infatuation and love Juliet realizes there is more to life than being a dutiful daughter
simile n Compares two different terms using like or as. Act II, scene ii: Romeo watches Juliet from afar. Romeo says, “For thou art as glorious to this night, being o’er my head, as if a winged messenger of heaven. ” n
Soliloquy n A long speech delivered by a character alone on stage to let the audience know what the character is thinking and feeling.
Tragedy n A drama in which events turn out disastrously for the main characters, often resulting in death.
Tragic flaw n The weakness in the tragic hero, which leads to their downfall. n Romeo’s tragic flaw could be reacting without thinking– impulsiveness.