Antithesis In Romeo And Juliet

How does Shakespeare's use of antithesis and oxymora create tension in Romeo and Juliet?

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Antithesis really drives the tension in Romeo and Juliet from the beginning. In the sixth line of the play, the couple is described as "star-crossed lovers," meaning that the events that follow have been predestined by fate. However, in act 5, scene 1, Romeo declares, "I defy you, stars!" when he learns of Juliet's death, indicating that he is taking his fate into his own hands, changing the course of his destiny. This balance between fate and free will weaves throughout the play. How much is pre-written in the stars for this couple? Was it their fate to die together? Or did they make their own choices along the way, each one leading them closer to their deaths? These questions drive much of the conflict between this couple and those around them.

Another example of antithesis is the struggle between love and hate, captured perfectly by Juliet in act 1, scene 5: "My only love sprung from my only hate!" If there is anyone Juliet has been taught to hate, it is a member of the Montague family....

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