Can anyone help me analyze this passage from Romeo and Juliet?Romeo and Juliet Act 3 Scene 2 Lines 17-33 Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow'd night, Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall...

Can anyone help me analyze this passage from Romeo and Juliet?

Romeo and Juliet
Act 3 Scene 2 Lines 17-33

Come, gentle night, come, loving, black-brow'd night,
Give me my Romeo; and, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess'd it, and, though I am sold,
Not yet enjoy'd: so tedious is this day
As is the night before some festival
To an impatient child that hath new robes
And may not wear them. O, here comes my nurse,
And she brings news; and every tongue that speaks
But Romeo's name speaks heavenly eloquence.

 

 

Asked on by jaymie23

3 Answers | Add Yours

shaketeach's profile pic

shaketeach | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

I agree but would like to add the following.

Shakespeare loves to pit opposites against each other (aka antithesis)  for example in this speech, night and day.  For Juliet night is preferable for many reasons.  First, she is a teenage girl and nighttime is romantic.  It is the time of the stars and moon and the moon is a symbol of love.  Secondly, it is at night when young girls sleep and dream of love.  Thirdly, she has met and been wooed by Romeo at night.  Fourthly, it is at night that her marriage that afternoon to Romeo will be consummated.

By contrast, the day represents reality.  It seems that all the negative things that happen in the play (until Act V) happen during the day.  She calls the sun garish.  The sun is hot.  It is summer time in Italy and tempers like the sun run hot during the day and seem to mellow at night.

Finally nighttime is the time of visible heaven since we can look into the night and see the enormity of the universe.

clairewait's profile pic

clairewait | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted on

I think understanding the context of this passage and Juliet's state of mind will really help you analyze it further (for literary and rhetorical techniques).

At this point in the play, Romeo and Juliet have been married (early in the morning) and then immediately separated.  This means they have not had their "wedding night" together.

O, I have bought the mansion of a love,
But not possess'd it, and, though I am sold,
Not yet enjoy'd:

In this soliloquy, Juliet is longing for Romeo in only a way a virgin new bride can.  This is the night she's been waiting her entire life for, and it cannot come soon enough.  She is excited even to the point of giddy in her new state of love, which is manifesting itself as a physical longing.  She is all alone here and impatient.  She speaks to the night (personification) as if it is the only thing that can possibly understand the enormity of her desire.

Also keep in mind that at this point, Juliet does not know of the fight between Mercutio, Tybalt and Romeo.  She will find out in just a few more lines, so this scene shows her last moments of blissful ignorance and raw, childlike love for her new husband but not yet lover.  In fact, this is truly the peak of Juliet's innocence, physical as well as emotional.

npoore84's profile pic

npoore84 | Middle School Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted on

This passage is one of the few soliloquies that Juliet gives throughout the play. In this passage, she is waiting for Romeo to come to her. She has just been recently married and has been forced to spend the day away from Romeo. They are still hiding the fact that they are married and are waiting for the appropriate moment to reveal their marriage.

In this passage Juliet is impatiently waiting at her window waiting for nightfall, knowing that her Romeo will come for her. She is anxious for nightfall knowing that it will bring about the consummation of her marriage. She compares herself to a house that has been sold but she has not been able to give the owner any pleasure (in this case, her consummation to Romeo). She is anxiously awaiting this experience feeling that it will bring her inexpressible joy to both her and Romeo.

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