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In Act IV scene 5, what kind of imagery is Shakespeare using to describe Juliet's...

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runaround | (Level 1) Honors

Posted November 27, 2011 at 3:59 AM via web

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In Act IV scene 5, what kind of imagery is Shakespeare using to describe Juliet's death?

The untimely frost evokes the sense of touch to me and the sweet flower, smell and sight.  What do you think?

 

 

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted November 27, 2011 at 6:09 AM (Answer #1)

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There are three sets of images evoked here:  death as a kind of sleep, death as a marriage (“Oh son, the night before thy wedding-day/Hath Death lain with thy wife.” and dirge music vs. wedding music.   As each household character reacts to Juliet’s “death,” the word imagery reflects both the chaos and the emotional reactions of each character in turn (Friar Lawrence, for example, sees Heaven as claiming all of Juliet, her body as well as her soul.)  “Our bridal flowers serve for the buried corse” laments Old Capulet, seeing the two public ceremonies, wedding and funeral, change places.  The “untimely frost” on the “sweetest flower” refers to her youth, an untimely death, particularly tragic to her father.  The musicians, farthest removed from the family tragedy, translate their concern into monetary terms -- "musicians sound for silver."

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