How does Shakespeare use imagery to present the feelings of love in Act 2, Scene 2?

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litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Imagery is used throughout Act 2, Scene 2 as Romeo and Juliet describe their love for one another.

Romeo is the first one to use imagery to exaggerate Juliet’s beauty, showing how much he loves her.

It is the East, and Juliet is the sun! 

Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, 

Who is already sick and pale with grief(5) 

That thou her maid art far more fair than she. (Act 2, Scene 2)

Romeo compares Juliet to the sun.  He loves her so much that he describes how jealous the moon should be, and describes the moon as pale because it grieves to not be as pretty as Juliet.  Romeo makes other metaphors and similes throughout the act and the play, demonstrating how overly smitten he is.

Juliet also uses imagery and comparisons to show her love for Romeo.  She wants to know why he is named what he is named, because she could love him if not for his name.

What's in a name? That which we call a rose(45)

By any other name would smell as sweet. 

So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,

Retain that dear perfection which he owes 

Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name;  (Act 2, Scene 2)

Juliet’s comparison to names and roses shows the frustration she feels at the fickleness of the feud.  In loving Romeo, she is dishonoring her family.  It is a difficult choice to make.

The exaggeration in the language of the two lovers shows that they care about each other very much, and that their love has blinded them to the reality of their situation. 

Read the study guide:
Romeo and Juliet

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