What are some figurative devices used in Act 4 of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet?
In Act 4 of Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses personification, a type of figurative or literary device in which a non-living object is given human qualities. For example, Juliet says to Friar Laurence in scene 1, "this bloody knife/Shall play the umpire." In this figure of speech, a knife is likened to an umpire who can choose between the two difficult choices Juliet has to make--whether to marry Paris or admit she is already married to Romeo. Later in the scene, the Friar says, "No warmth, no breath, shall testify thou livest," meaning that no breath will give away that Juliet is still living after she's taken the drug he prescribes. This is another example of personification. At the end of scene 3, Juliet summons the vial with the drugs she is taking as if it is human. She says, "Come, vial," and she addresses the vial like it is a person.
Juliet uses similes later in scene 3. She says that in the tomb, she might hear screams that she describes as "shrieks like mandrakes torn out of the earth." Mandrakes are a type of root that was rumored to yell like a human when torn from the earth. Mandrakes were thought to have had magical qualities that were used in witchcraft. In scene 5, Romeo uses a metaphor to compare money to poison. When he uses money to buy poison from the apothecary, he says, "gold, worse poison to men’s souls" than the poisons the apothecary sells.