Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet book cover
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6. Describe the language that Shakespeare uses when Romeo and Juliet speak to one another, particularly when they first meet and in the Balcony Scene. How does their language help readers understand the depth of their love?

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In a word, the language is poetic. It is full of metaphors and hyperbole. It is as if the emotion the two young lovers feel is so full of emotion, it can't be contained in normal language. Instead, they must translate it, and use imagery, rhythm, metaphor, and language from other sources, such as mythology and religion. For example, in the first meeting, Romeo refers to Juliet (or perhaps just her hand) as "This holy shrine," starting a string of pilgrimage metaphors, as if he'd been seeking her his whole life, and as if she were the meaning of his world.

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