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What are some examples of classical allusions in Romeo and Juliet?
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- The use of a Chorus; classical Greek dramas always include a chorus
- I.1--Goddess of Morning Aurora
- II.1--Venus, Cupid, King Cophetua (not Greek, but still an allusion)
- II.2--Jove (or Jupiter/Zeus)
- II.4--Dido, Helen, Hero, Cleopatra
- II.5--Cupid again
- III.2--Phoebus, Phaeton
- III.5--Cynthia (another name for the goddess Artemis)
- IV.1--goddess of love (not named, but Aphrodite)
Here is a link to an example of a classical allusion from Act I:
Posted by brandih on May 19, 2008 at 10:59 AM (Answer #1)
High School Teacher
Here are a few:
I hope this helps!
Posted by linda-allen on May 19, 2008 at 11:32 AM (Answer #2)
High School Teacher
O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear! (I, v)
Ethiope is an allusion to Ethiopia. Ethiopian slaves were often found in Moorish harems wearing very beautiful and expensive jewelry in their ears to impress upon all who saw them the wealth of their owners.
There are so many classic references and allusions in this play. Pay attention to your footnotes and sidenotes as you read...you will find many more using this method, and soon you will find them on your own without the help of the footnotes and sidenotes. Enjoy!
Posted by amy-lepore on May 20, 2008 at 4:39 AM (Answer #3)
Middle School Teacher
I would also add that there are some facinating Pre-Christian British allusions as well. The Friar's opening speech is laden with ancient herbalism and magic references. Mercutio has a monologue in Act II (I think- I taught this awhile ago and I don't have my notes in front of me) about Queen Mab, a fairy queen (and these aren't Disney-fied fairies). These sort of refernces would have appealed to the lower reaches of society, who were regular play-goers in Shakespear's day.
Posted by valliantefforts on January 26, 2012 at 9:04 AM (Answer #4)
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