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Find an example of hyperbole in Romeo's declatation of love for Rosaline in Act 1,...

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goracheski | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 9, 2011 at 8:30 AM via web

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Find an example of hyperbole in Romeo's declatation of love for Rosaline in Act 1, Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet.

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accessteacher | High School Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted May 9, 2011 at 8:20 PM (Answer #1)

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Let us remember that a hyperbole is a deliberate exaggeration for dramatic purposes and to emphasise or highlight the importance of something. The whole character of Romeo in this scene could be described as hyperbolic, as he is presented as a typically love-sick teenager who has allowed his emotions to become clouded by his love for Rosaline. However, for a clear presentation of how hyperbole functions in his thoughts about Rosaline, consider how he describes her to Benvolio when he urges him to forget about her:

He that is strucken blind cannot forget

The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.

Show me a mistress that is passing fair:

Where I may read who passed that passing fair?

Note the over-the-top way in which Romeo compares his love of Rosaline to a man struck blind and thinking about the gift of sight. Rosaline is so beautiful that even looking at other women will only serve to remind him of her whose beauty "passes" the beauty of others. No other woman can contend with Rosaline, in Romeo's opinion. Note the clear exaggeration of her beauty and her importance to Romeo's life.

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