In act 3, scene 2, why does Juliet use so many oxymorons?

In act 3, scene 2, Juliet uses so many oxymorons because she has just heard that Romeo has killed her beloved cousin Tybalt.

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In act 3, scene 2, the Nurse tells Juliet that Romeo has killed her cousin Tybalt. Horrified by the death of her kinsman at the hands of her new husband, Juliet launches into a series of oxymoronic statements:

O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face! Did ever dragon keep...

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In act 3, scene 2, the Nurse tells Juliet that Romeo has killed her cousin Tybalt. Horrified by the death of her kinsman at the hands of her new husband, Juliet launches into a series of oxymoronic statements:

O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st,
A damned saint, an honourable villain!

These oxymorons serve to illustrate Juliet's inner conflict. She is madly in love with Romeo, but she is angry and shocked that he killed someone whom she cares about. She has no notion of the context of the fight, either (that Romeo killed Tybalt to avenge Mercutio), so confusion also plays a part in her reaction. As far as she knows, Romeo might have initiated the fight and slain Tybalt in cold blood. Juliet realizes that she might have been deceived into marrying a monster—a handsome, sweet-talking monster, but a monster nevertheless.

Juliet's oxymorons also emphasize the play's notions about duality. Earlier, Friar Lawrence said that certain herbs can be used to heal or poison, depending upon how they are used. Here, Juliet is beginning to see how her marriage is similarly complicated: it will bring her both joy and suffering due to its very nature. She loves Romeo and her family, but she cannot be fully faithful to both at the same time. Either she allies herself with her cousin's murderer, or she stands against the Capulets, who will end up wanting revenge beyond Romeo's banishment.

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An oxymoron is a statement that appears contradictory. Juliet's use of a series of oxymorons in act 3, scene 2, in which she discovers that Romeo has killed Tybalt, expresses her deep sense of anguish and conflict.

Juliet has fallen in love with and married Romeo, but she also dearly loves her slain cousin. When she hears of his death, her Capulet instincts come to the forefront, and she harshly condemns Romeo. Her series of oxymorons show that she suddenly believes she has married a person who is handsome and sweet-talking on the outside but evil underneath. She bursts out,

Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despisèd substance of divinest show,
Just opposite to what thou justly seem’st.
A damnèd saint, an honorable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In moral paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? Oh, that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace!
Her oxymorons reveal much of her initial attraction to Romeo: she perceives him as outwardly beautiful and pure. She calls him "dove feathered," a "saint," "sweet flesh," and "a gorgeous palace" in outward appearance. She also perceives him now as inwardly corrupt: "despised substance," "fiend," "vile matter," and "deceit."
The strength of her reaction shows how new the relationship between the lovers is. Juliet doesn't have the context for interpreting the news she has just heard. She doesn't know what we know about the circumstances that drove Romeo. She has no real reason to trust that Romeo isn't evil underneath, although she has just married him. He could be everything she says. How would she know one way or another after fewer than twenty-four hours?
Her reaction shows the complexity in which the relationship is embedded. Juliet loves Romeo but also has years of long ties of affection to her Capulet family members.
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At the beginning of the scene, Juliet is excitedly anticipating the arrival of her new husband, Romeo. In this moment, she is all happiness. However, after her Nurse tells her the news —that Romeo has slain Tybalt, Juliet's beloved cousin—her emotions become, suddenly, a great deal more complex. Her use of oxymora helps to communicate the increased nuance and complexity of her feelings. She calls Romeo a

Beautiful tyrant! Fiend angelical!
Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!
[...]
A damned saint, an honorable villain! (2.3.76-80)

Now, instead of thinking of him merely as "Beautiful" or "angelical," she also characterizes him as the opposite: because he has proven murderous, of her family member especially, she sees him, in part, as a "Fiend" or someone who is unrestrained and brutal, a "tyrant." Juliet still thinks of Romeo as a "saint" and an "honorable" person, but in light of his actions, she cannot but temper these positives with negatives, that he is a "villain," deserving of her curses. He is her beloved husband, but now he is also the murderer of her cousin, and this fact alters the way she conceives of him.

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It is actually Shakespeare who uses so many oxymorons, such as the following:

Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!

A damned saint, an honorable villain!

Shakespeare has Juliet doing this for several reasons. One is that it illustrates her confusion about her feelings. She loves Romeo but blames him for killing her kinsman Tybalt. She has to incorporate both feelings into her young, sheltered view of the world and of humanity. The oxymorons are also a poetic novelty in this play. They afford some amusement to Shakespeare's audience while at the same time showing Juliet's reaction to the bad news. She is just beginning to sense the possible consequences of the fatal duel. It may mean that Romeo will be executed. It could have disastrous consequences for her marriage and her newfound happiness. 

Romeo's duel with Tybalt marks the turning point in the play. Juliet's reaction shows that reality is already intruding into the illusion of perfect love. This young girl is torn between her ties to her family and her new ties to her handsome and passionate young husband. The oxymorons mainly serve to illustrate her confusion and mental anguish.

 

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