In Romeo and Juliet, act 2, scene 3, most of the friar's speech features what literary or stage device?

In Romeo and Juliet, act 2, scene 3, the friar's speech uses a stage device known as a soliloquy, where a character speaks their thoughts aloud, regardless of the presence of the audience or other characters. The friar's speech also employs a metaphor, as he compares the nature of plants to the nature of humans, who have the capacity to do both good and evil, to harm and heal.

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The stage device in use as act 2, scene 3 opens is a soliloquy by Friar Lawrence. In a soliloquy, a character states aloud their inner thoughts: it is as if we are hearing what they are thinking.
As he gathers the herbs, flowers, and plants from his garden, the friar ponders the mix of curative powers and poison in them. For instance, he notes that one plant "cheers" a person if it is smelled but if eaten, it is poisonous:
For this, being smelt, with that part cheers each part;
Being tasted, stays all senses with the heart.
He then ponders that human beings are also such a mix of good and evil:
Two such opposèd kings encamp them still,
In man as well as herbs—grace and rude will.
And the friar ominously ends with the thought that when evil is the greater part of a plant (or human) that trait becomes a cancer that kills:
And where the worser is predominant,
Full soon the canker death eats up that plant.
Romeo comes in and overhears what the friar is saying, but is so preoccupied that it seems not...

(The entire section contains 4 answers and 982 words.)

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