In Romeo and Juliet, Act 2 Scene 2, Romeo compares Juliet to a bright angel. What are the connotations of this?

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Romeo's adoring and unrealistic metaphor, which is a part of the beautiful light/dark imagery of the play, connotes his romantic and unrealistic concepts of love and life.

When Romeo sees Juliet in Act I, Scene 5, he is so stunned by her beauty that he reacts emotionally, rather than rationally. Feeling that he must speak to her, although he knows he is in the home of his family's enemies, Romeo rushes up to her, wishing to kiss her immediately. Then, still filled with his overwhelming infatuation, he risks his very life to climb over the orchard wall to stand beneath her balcony.

As he stands waiting for her to come out, Romeo speaks dreamily, never contemplating the danger or the consequences of his infatuation with Juliet. He simply delights in being in love with a beautiful girl, whom he elevates to the ethereal regions, calling her an angel;

Oh, speak again, bright angel! For thou art
As glorious to this night o'er my head,
As is a winged messenger of Heaven
Unto the white -upturned wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him... (2.1.26-30)

Then, later on in this evening, Romeo calls her "dear saint." Truly, Romeo is in love with the lovely, romantic image of Juliet that he has created. He does not consider the reality of this love and the situation that it places him in.

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Romeo and Juliet

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