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If lie is defined as something intended or serving to convey a false impression, then there are lies in "Romeo and Juliet."
- The first deception is Romeo and Benvolio's "visors" as they mask themselves and attend the party for Juliet, passing themselves off as invited guests.
- Another deception involves the conversation of Lord Capulet and Prince Paris who desires to marry Capulet's daughter. At first, Lord Capulet acts as though he is most reluctant to betrothe his daughter, but after only a couple of days he demands of Juliet that she marry the prince in Act 3, scene 4. In Act 2 he tells Paris
My child is yet a stranger in the world--...let two more summers wither in their pride/Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride....And too soon marred are those so early made./The earth hath swallowed all my hopes but she,(llI,ii, 8-14)
Then, in Act 4 he orders Juliet:
Prepare her, wife, against this wedding day(l.32)
- Shortly therefter, the Nurse's encouraging of Juliet to marry Romeo in Act 3, scene 5 is deceptive since the Nurse realizes that Juliet has already married Romeo
- Juliet misleads her father into thinking that she has acquiesced to his orders to marry the Prince when she tells the Nurse,
"Go in, and tell my lady I am gone,/Having displeased my father, to Laurence's cell,/To make confession and to be absolved" (III,v, ll.231-233)
- Friar Laurence becomes involved in deceiving the Capulet's as well when he issues a potion to Juliet which causes her to appear dead. While his intentions may be good, the act is anything but forthright. Of course, Juliet, too, is guilty of deception again.
Romeo and juliet is sometimes considered to have no unifying theme, save that of young love.Romeo and Juliet have become emblematic of young lovers and doomed love. Since it is such an obvious subject of the play, several scholars have explored the language and historical context behind the romance of the play.
On their first meeting, Romeo and Juliet use a form of communication recommended by many etiquette authors in Shakespeare's day: metaphor. By using metaphors of saints and sins, Romeo was able to test Juliet's feelings for him in a non-threatening way. This method was recommended by (whose works had been translated into English by this time). He pointed out that if a man used a metaphor as an invitation, the woman could pretend she did not understand him, and he could retreat without losing honour. Juliet, however, participates in the metaphor and expands on it. The religious metaphors of "shrine", "pilgrim" and "saint" were fashionable in the poetry of the time and more likely to be understood as romantic rather than blasphemous, as the concept of sainthood was associated with the Catholicism of an earlier age Later in the play, Shakespeare removes the more daring allusions to Christ's resurrection in the tomb he found in his source work: Brooke's
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