What are some literary devices in Romeo and Juliet, act 5, scene 3, when and before Juliet kills herself?

Metaphors are used at the beginning of act 5, scene 3 of Romeo and Juliet when Paris praises Juliet's beauty by referring to her as "sweet flower." In Juliet's final lines, she uses the literary device of apostrophe when she addresses the dagger ("O happy dagger!"). The phrase "happy dagger" is also an oxymoron.

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As Friar Laurence approaches the tomb to sit with Juliet, he uses the literary device of imagery, description using any of the five senses of sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell, to express his surprise at what he sees, stating:

Alack, alack, what blood is this, which stains
The stony entrance of the sepulcher?
What mean these masterless and gory swords
To lie discolored by this place of peace?

We can see in our mind's eye the blood stains at the entrance of the tomb and the bloody swords dropped there. The friar also uses exclamation, amplified by repetition, when he says "alack, alack." He employs alliteration in the repeated "s" sounds of stains, stony, and selpulcher, as well in the repeated "p" sounds of "place of peace." He also engages in antithesis or the juxtaposition of opposites when he speaks of "gory swords" (examples of violence) and "peace" at the same time. The passage as a whole is an example of dramatic irony, in which the audience already knows what has happened while the friar is taken by surprise.

In a famous speech, Juliet awakens, sees the dead Romeo, and says,

O happy dagger,
This is thy sheath. There rust and let me die.
She uses personification in characterizing the dagger as possessing the human emotion of happiness at the thought of being plunged inside her, a sexual allusion. She uses a metaphor when she refers to her body as the dagger's sheath.
When the chief watchman finds the bodies of Romeo and Juliet, he uses imagery to describe the scene, especially emphasizing that Juliet is newly dead, saying,
Juliet bleeding, warm and newly dead
He also uses parallelism, or repetition of the same grammatical structure, in the short sentences that send the other watchmen into action:
Go, tell the Prince. Run to the Capulets.
Raise up the Montagues.
Each of these four line sentences are commands. The abruptness of the utterances conveys urgency.
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There are various literary devices to be found in this scene in the section just before and after Juliet kills herself. There is certainly a lot of verbal irony in what Juliet says: she accuses the dead Romeo of being a "churl" for not having left a single "friendly drop" of poison for Juliet to kill herself with. Clearly, she does not really mean that Romeo is churlish, nor would a drop of poison be friendly to Juliet's constitution.

Juliet continues in this vein, describing the dagger with which she kills herself as "happy," an example of oxymoron—the dagger may bring Juliet happiness, but it is not a happy thing. Juliet next uses metaphor, comparing her body to the dagger's sheath, something in which the dagger can conceal itself.

Throughout her speech, also, Shakespeare makes the deliberate choice of having Juliet address the body of the dead Romeo, even though she does not believe him to be present, which serves as a parallel or foil to Romeo's previous delivery of a speech to Juliet who, though appearing so, was not actually dead. As such, there is a level of irony here: specifically, Romeo's delivery of his lines to Juliet's body becomes prophetic irony, because it anticipates what Juliet will later do before the body of the actually dead Romeo.

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In Act 5 Scene 3 of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, there are several literary devices used to describe the actions and emotions of Juliet’s death.  The scene begins with Paris scattering flowers at Juliet’s closed tomb.  Paris states, “Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew ” (V. iii. 13). Addressing Juliet as a “Sweet flower,” Paris uses a metaphor to describe the beauty of Juliet. 

When Romeo enters the tomb and bids Balthasar to not spy on him, Romeo states, “The time and my intents are savage, wild, / More fierce and more inexorable far / Than empty tigers on the roaring sea” (V. iii. 41-43).  This is an excellent example of metaphor because Romeo is comparing his plan and ferocity to hungry tigers trapped at sea.  This demonstrates his ruthless determination to die for his love. 

Once Balthasar moves aside and falls asleep, Romeo addresses Juliet’s tomb in a quote using an apostrophe, personification, and a metaphor.  Romeo states, “Thou detestable maw, thou womb of death, / Gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth, / Thus I enforce thy rotten jaws to open, / And in despite I’ll cram thee with more food!” (V. iii. 51-54).  An apostrophe is a figure of speech used when a speaker addresses an inanimate object, or as in this case, a tomb.  The tomb is then personified to have a mouth that Romeo describes as having gobbled up Juliet’s body. Then, the entire quote is a metaphor because it is comparing the tomb to a figurative mouth that eats dead bodies.

Romeo dies and Juliet wakes moments later, where upon Friar Lawrence states, “Lady, come for that nest / Of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep” (V. iii. 163-164).  By referring to Juliet’s sleep as a “nest of death, contagion, and unnatural sleep,” Friar Lawrence uses a metaphor to describe the tomb as a breeding site for disease, which figuratively amplifies the twisted fates of the lovers—by feigning her death, Juliet has inadvertently caused Romeo to take his own life.

When Juliet takes Romeo’s dagger and stabs herself, she exclaims, “O happy dagger, / This is thy sheath. / There rust and let me die” (V. iii. 182-183). This quote is an example of an oxymoron, apostrophe, and metaphor.  The contradictory terms of “happy” and “dagger” serve as an oxymoron that accentuates Juliet’s willingness to take her own life. Further, by addressing the dagger, Juliet also uses an apostrophe.  Finally, the quote is metaphorically comparing Juliet’s body to a knife sheath where the blade should enter and remain. 

 

 

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