What is Juliet compared to when she and Romeo first meet in Act I, Scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet?    

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The first meeting of Romeo and Juliet occurs after Romeo has noticed the beautiful Juliet at the Capulet masque.Seeing her, he compares Juliet to a saint.

After seeing her across the room, and inquiring about her identity, Romeo impulsively approaches Juliet. In one of the two sonnets of the play, each of the two characters recites seven lines. Using the metaphor of Juliet as a saint, Romeo, as a pilgrim, wishes to be absolved of his sin and if he is so absolved, then Juliet must take his sin from him by giving him a kiss:

Then move not while my prayer's effect I take
Thus from my lips by thine my sin is purged. (1.5.105-106)

Afterwards, Juliet reasons that she has taken Romeo's sin; therefore, Romeo asks for his sin back so that they can kiss again. Then, the Nurse approaches, and she informs the young lady that her mother wishes to have a word with her.