- Slides: 10
William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet Act 1 Scene 5 Sonnet / Iambic Pentamter
• ROMEO If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss 1 st Quatrain (4 line stanza) in rhyme scheme ABAB
• JULIET Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, Which mannerly devotion shows in this For saints have hands that pilgrims' hands do touch And palm to palm is holy palmers' kiss 2 nd Quatrain (4 line stanza) in rhyme scheme CDCD
• ROMEO Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too • JULIET Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer. • ROMEO Then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair 3 rd Quatrain (4 line stanza) in rhyme scheme EFEF
• JULIET Saints do not move, though grant for prayers' sake. • ROMEO Then move not, while my prayer's effect I take Couplet (2 line stanza) in rhyme scheme GG
• First quatrain: An exposition of the main theme and main metaphor. • Second quatrain: Theme and metaphor extended or complicated; often, some imaginative example is given. • Third quatrain: Peripeteia (twist or conflict), often introduced by a "but" (very often leading off the ninth line). • Couplet: Summarizes and leaves the reader with a new, concluding image.
1 st Quatrain sets up metaphor of Romeo as unworthy yet aggressive Pilgrim 2 nd Quatrain extends metaphor previously established and complicates it with the idea of Juliet as a saint 3 rd Quatrain introduces the dilemma of the kiss. Also foreshadows future conflict. Couplet concludes they will kiss however Juliet will not actively participate; she allows Romeo to act.
• When Romeo and Juliet meet they speak just fourteen lines before their first kiss. These fourteen lines make up a shared sonnet (resembles a relationship). • A sonnet is a perfect, idealized poetic form often used to write about love. Encapsulating the moment of origin of Romeo and Juliet’s love within a sonnet therefore creates a perfect match between literary content and formal style.
• The use of the sonnet also serves a second, darker purpose. • The play’s Prologue is a single sonnet of the same rhyme scheme as Romeo and Juliet’s shared sonnet (iambic pentameter). • The Prologue sonnet introduces the play and, through its description of Romeo and Juliet’s eventual death, also creates the sense of fate that permeates Romeo and Juliet. • The shared sonnet therefore creates a formal link between their love and their destiny. With a single sonnet, Shakespeare finds a means of expressing perfect love and linking it to a tragic fate.
Shakespeare’s Craft 1) Opposition 2) Word Play