Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What are some similes in Romeo and Juliet?

There are many similes in Romeo and Juliet. Romeo uses a simile to describe Juliet's beauty when he says she is “like a rich jewel in an Ethiop’s ear.” Romeo also uses a simile to compare love to a thorn: "Is love a tender thing? it is too rough, / Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn."

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coachingcorner eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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My favorite simile quote from the play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare is when the author has Romeo compare Juliet to something richly-colored, sparkling, pricelessly valuable and ornamental:

"like a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear"

The whole image is richly exotic and underlines the glamorous surroundings of the play's setting (when compared to muddy, grey smelly old Shakespearean London!) The Italian city night-time scene is wonderfully evoked by the image Romeo paints in our minds of a warm, scented dark evening, with sweet music, torchlights, dancing and everyone in their prettiest colored clothes. And the central star (for Romeo) is Juliet. We can imagine the size and priceless value of the glittering stone (it must be quite long to hang down from ear to cheek) and can also imagine the softness of Juliet's cheek, as well.

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Doug Stuva eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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Simile is used in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet at the beginning of Act 1.4.

Romeo, Mercutio, Benvolio (of the house of Montague) and others are in the process of entering the house of Capulet to join a party.  The boys, who are "crashing" the party, are joking about whether they should be announced or should just enter without apology.

Benvolio says:

We'll have no Cupid hoodwinked with a scarf [no blind Cupid introducing them--the presenter at events like this would sometimes be dressed as Cupid],

Bearing a Tartar's painted bow of lath [a bow shorter than the traditional English long bow],

Scaring the ladies like a crowkeeper,...

Crowkeeper is simply a scarecrow.  Thus, Benvolio says that the boys will not be introduced at the party by a presenter dressed like Cupid, carrying a small bow, who will scare the ladies like a scarecrow scares crows.  That is a simile. 

The presenter scaring the ladies is compared by the use of the word, like, to a scarecrow scaring crows. 

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missy575 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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One of my favorite similes in Romeo and Juliet occurs in the balcony scene (act II, scene ii):

ROMEO:
A thousand times the worse, to want thy light.
Love goes toward love, as schoolboys from
their books,

But love from love, toward school with heavy looks.

The comparison occurring here states that two people in love are drawn to each other as strongly as school children are drawn away from their studies. This is said as the two are saying their goodbyes and begin to make plans for their next meeting. It is saying that their desire to return to each other is be powerful, at least according to Romeo.

What makes this a simile is the comparison between the longing for love, and the lack of longing for school. It also uses the word "as."

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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As I am sure that you know, a simile is when someone compares one thing to another and does so directly.  So it is like when someone says "my love is like a red, red, rose."  They are comparing their love to a rose and they are clearly doing so, using the word "like."

Romeo uses a simile in Act I, Scene 4 when he is talking to Mercutio.  He compares love to a thorn.  He says

Is love a tender thing? it is too rough,
Too rude, too boisterous, and it pricks like thorn.

Then, when he sees Juliet at the feast at her house, Romeo starts to talk about how beautiful she is.  He uses another simile.

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear

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prgu72 | Student

'So tedious is this day/As is the night before some festival.' Act 3 Scene 2 (Line 28-29)

eli468 | Student

Some similes from Romeo and Juliet include:

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,

My love as deep. (Act 2 Scene 2)

The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars

As daylight doth a lamp (Act 2 Scene 2)

Begot of nothing but vain fantasy

Which is as thin of a substance as the air (Act 1 Scene 4)

zumba96 | Student

 "Juliet is the sun"

"But love from love, toward school with heavy looks" 

"It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden;/ Too like the lightning, which doth cease to be/ Ere one can say it lightens."