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What does Romeo's use of oxymorons show?I'm using the oxymorons "heavy lightness"...

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erika1997xx | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 24, 2012 at 4:45 PM via web

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What does Romeo's use of oxymorons show?

I'm using the oxymorons "heavy lightness" "serious vanity" "Brawling love" "Loving hate" from Romeo's oxymoronic speech in Act 1, scene 1. also my explanation has to link to the conflict of traditional binaries?

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lizbv | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted June 24, 2012 at 6:10 PM (Answer #1)

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Romeo's use of oxymorons, specifically cited "heavy lightness", "serious vanity", "brawling love", etc., conveys the internal emotional turmoil he is experiencing. Though he says he is happy in love, he is unhappy in that he is "out of her favor where [he] is in love" (again bringing in the contradictory ideas of out and in). What he is saying is that though he is in love with Rosaline, which should bring him happiness, he realizes that she does not know to acknowledge his love, nor even his presence, since she has chosen to devote her life to god by joining a nunnery (convent). Therefore, his happiness (being Rosaline) is also the root of his unhappiness, thus acting emotional turmoil. This links to the conflict of traditional binaries in that it is this contradiction of emotions that is creating his conflict with himself in that he cannot be happy nor unhappy and is instead caught in the contradiction of his ironic situation.

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