What are some examples of personification in Act 2 of Romeo and Juliet?

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Chase Burns eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Personification is a figure of speech where human qualities are given to non-human things like ideas, objects or animals. (It seems like a metaphor, but it is actually the opposite!) Act 2 has many examples of personification, but there are great examples in the speeches in the famous balcony scene (Act 2, Scene 2). I'll outline three examples and explain how they use personification. 

ROMArise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon, /
Who is already sick and pale with grief /
That thou her maid art far more fair than she. (II.ii.4-6)

Here, Romeo gives the moon human qualities, imagining the moon to be jealous of Juliet because Juliet is more beautiful than the moon. 

ROMMy name, dear saint, is hateful to myself, /
Because it is an enemy to thee. (II.ii.59-60)

Romeo gives his name human qualities when he describes it as hateful and his enemy. Of course, a name is only a name - Juliet goes into this idea in her own speech - but Romeo imagines his name as a literal enemy.

JUL: My ears have yet not drunk a hundred words /
Of that tongue's utterance, yet I know the sound. /
Art thou not Romeo, and a Montague? (II.ii.62-64)

In this section, Juliet describes her ears as being able to drink words. Of course, the function of an ear is to hear, not drink. A person can drink, not an ear. Furthermore, sometimes a person drinks so much they become drunk or bloated. This is similar to how she believes her ears react when they hear Romeo. 

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Romeo and Juliet

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