How does one find quotes in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet that portray the use of literary terms and devices, such as the ones below?   Irony, Foil, Personification, Couplet, Tragedy, Allusion,...

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Since we are limited to space, we won't be able to discuss quotes for all of the literary terms you listed. However, your first task for completing your assignment will be to understand what those literary terms are. The eNotes Guide to Literary Terms will be able to help you understand most of them, and Dr. Wheeler's dictionary of Literary Vocabulary will help with the rest. Links are also provided below. Once you understand the terms, by looking through the play again, you should be able to easily find quotes that illustrate examples of the terms.

But here, let's start you off with irony. Irony can be a complex term to understand because there are actually three types of literary irony: verbal, dramatic, and situational, the third of which is explained and illustrated by Kansas State University's Glossary of Critical Concepts. Below is a discussion of the first two.

One of the most frequent kinds of irony is verbal irony. Verbal irony happens when a speaker says the exact opposite of what he/she means. Verbal irony is sometimes spoken with sarcasm (sarcasm intends to harm, irony does not). We can find an example of verbal irony in the scene in which Tybalt confronts Romeo to challenge him to a duel. When Tybalt finally finds Romeo, he says the lines, "Romeo, the love I bear thee can afford / No better term than this: thou art a villain" (III.i.59-60). Tybalt is challenging Romeo because he felt insulted by Romeo's presence at the Capulet ball. Therefore, Tybalt is being (sarcastically) ironic when he refers to "the love [he] bears" Romeo. If Tybalt sees Romeo as a "villain," or a "cruel" and "malicious" person, then he certainly feels no "love" for Romeo, but hatred instead, showing us that this is a perfect example of verbal irony (Random House Dictionary).

The second kind of irony is dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is a moment when the audience understands far more about the character's situation than the character does. One example of dramatic irony is the fact that Juliet's parents want to marry her to Paris while being unaware that she is already married to Romeo, but we are aware; we do know. In addition, they are also completely unaware that she is in love with Romeo and think she hates him, but we know the truth. The irony of this situation can best be seen in one of Juliet's replies to her mother's declaration that her father wants her to marry Paris, "I will not marry yet; and when I do, I swear / It shall be Romeo, whom you know I hate" (III.v.124-25). The dramatic irony reflected in these lines is that she is actually already married, and, while her mother believes Juliet hates Romeo, what Juliet is saying here is untrue and, while her parents don't know this, we do.


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