How does Shakespeare structure Romeo's speech in Act 1 Scene1?  How has Romeo's character changed by Act 2 Scene 2?

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mstultz72 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

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Romeo's speech is very melodramatic, full of oxymorons, rhetorical questions, and pathos.

An oxymoron is the use of opposite pairs to show, in this case, his confused love-sick nature.  On a greater level, the oxymorons contrasts the love-hate themes in the play.

Oxymorons are in bold:

Alas, that love, whose view is muffled still,
Should, without eyes, see pathways to his will!
Where shall we dine? O me! What fray was here?
Yet tell me not, for I have heard it all.
Here's much to do with hate, but more with love.
Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!
O any thing, of nothing first create!
O heavy lightness! serious vanity!
Mis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms!
Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire,
sick health!
Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!
This love feel I, that feel no love in this.
Dost thou not laugh?

The monologue is humorous and serious, full of little ironies that will be developed later in the play--the most notable of which is the "still-waking sleep."  Romeo will think Juliet dead in the tomb, and after he kills himself she will wake.

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