What dramatic devices does Shakespeare use in Romeo and Juliet?

The dramatic devices Shakespeare uses in Romeo and Juliet include foreshadowing, dramatic irony, paradox, and tragedy.

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Shakespeare employs various dramatic devices in Romeo and Juliet. There is extensive use of foreshadowing throughout the play. Aside from the fact that the fate of the two lovers is spelled out in the prologue, there are several points at which premonitions of their deaths disturb the atmosphere, as when Juliet exclaims,

O God, I have an ill-divining soul!
Methinks I see thee, now thou art below,
As one dead in the bottom of a tomb.

Even Juliet's death-like trance, which leads her family, and even Romeo, to believe she is really dead, prefigures her actual death soon afterwards.

Dramatic irony is also an important element of Romeo and Juliet, particularly in the way Shakespeare withholds knowledge of Friar Laurence's plan from everyone except Juliet herself and the audience. It is also employed throughout the play in more minor matters: for instance, when Mercutio is unable to fathom the reason behind Romeo's good humor in act 2, scene 4 or his subsequent affection for Tybalt.

Romeo's love for Tybalt,...

(The entire section contains 3 answers and 847 words.)

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Last Updated by eNotes Editorial on June 10, 2020