Please provide an example of personification in Romeo and Juliet Act II, Scene 5?Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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A most effective literary technique, personification illuminates an idea for readers and audiences.  For, in the attribution of human qualities to an object, an animal, a natural force, or an idea, personification explains and provides vivid images which expand the readers/audiences knowledge of an author's ideas.

In scene 5 of Act II, Juliet waits anxiously for the Nurse to return with news from Romeo.  Juliet complains that the Nurse is old and takes her time; were she is love as Juliet is, perhaps she would return more quickly. In a beautiful personification Juliet reflects,

Love's heralds should be thoughts,
Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams
Driving back shadows over low'ring hills.
Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw Love, (2.5.4-7)

In this passage, Shakespeare personifies love as having heralds, or messengers; therefore, Love is elevated to regal status.  Likewise, there is personification in Juliet's attributing the physical act of gliding to thoughts which are abstract.




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