In Act 1, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet, what language technique is used in Juliet's phrase, "My only love sprung from my only hate!"?

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

When Juliet utters this line, she is referring to the fact that she feels herself to be in love with this handsome stranger she kissed at her father's party, but she has just learned that he is Romeo Montague, the son of her father's great enemy.  It is a paradox.  A paradox is a statement or situation that seems to be contradictory and therefore appears to be an impossibility; however, there is always some crucial piece of information needed to resolve and understand the paradox.  How can one's only love possibly be embodied by the same person who represents one's only hate?  It seems like an impossibility because a person cannot both love and hate someone else at the same time.  However, the feud between the Montagues and Capulets helps us to understand.  Juliet doesn't really hate Romeo, but she knows that she's expected to hate him because he's a Montague.  She loves him, but she knows that this love is going to be problematic because she is supposed to hate him.  It's a pretty sad irony.

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Romeo and Juliet

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