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Examples of idiomatic expressions in Romeo and Juliet please?This is for part of an...

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jmangan | Teacher | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 4, 2011 at 5:42 PM via web

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Examples of idiomatic expressions in Romeo and Juliet please?

This is for part of an esssay, and I am really struggling to find some.  Please help.  Thanks.

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clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted January 4, 2011 at 11:51 PM (Answer #1)

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By definition, an idiom is a figurative expression that has become so common that its literal meaning is no longer considered and its figurative meaning is taken for granted.

Shakespeare, like Charles Dickens, is considered somewhat of a grandfather of many English idioms because he created them, and the popularity of his works made them famous.

"Romeo and Juliet" has several expressions that could be considered idioms.  The following list, in no particular order, contains examples and their commonly accepted meaning:

  1. Star-crossed lovers: two people whom fate has brought together.
  2. What's in a name...: Juliet's famous soliloquy which questions her attraction to a member of an enemy household has become somewhat of a modern catch phrase for, "What does reputation have to do with anything?"  This phrase is used commonly with material brand names and places in addition to actual people.
  3. I am fortune's fool: A phrase now used to denote exasperation at a negative situation in which one feels helpless.
  4. Wild-goose chase: This phrase is used modernly to describe a fruitless search for something or running back and forth in search of something and coming back empty-handed.  The idea is that the "wild-goose" has a hunter running every which way and in the end he fails to actually capture the bird.

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