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To what does Romeo compare Juliet in Act 1 Scene 5 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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wanderista | Student, Grade 11 | Valedictorian

Posted October 10, 2012 at 7:16 AM via web

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To what does Romeo compare Juliet in Act 1 Scene 5 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?

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rrteacher | College Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted October 10, 2012 at 12:56 PM (Answer #1)

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Having first laid eyes on Juliet at the feast, Romeo is stunned, obviously struck by her beauty. He first compares her to fire, claiming that "she doth teach the torches to burn bright!" Then he compares her to "a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear." Then, as if to empasize how lovestruck he is, he compares her to a "snowy dove" beside which the rest of the women at the party are simply "crows." It is obviously a case of love at first sight, and Romeo resolves to walk over to her and take her hand. The audience and the reader cannot help being struck by the immediate change in Romeo's demeanor. He has spent most of the first act moping over Rosaline's rejection of his love. Now he has forgotten about her completely. It is also at this fateful moment in the play that Lord Capulet restrains Tybalt, who recognizes Romeo and wants to attack him at the party. 

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