What language features are used in this quote from Romeo and Juliet? "O speak again, bright angel, for thou art as glorious to this night..."

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favoritethings eNotes educator| Certified Educator

After he leaves the Capulets' party with his friends, where he first met, spoke to, and fell in love with Juliet, Romeo decides that he must pursue her, and he scales the walls surrounding her garden, hiding underneath her balcony.  When she speaks, he -- still hidden -- says aloud to himself,

She speaks.
O, speak again, bright angel! For thou art
As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,
As is a wingèd messenger of heaven
Unto the white, upturnèd, wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-puffing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air.  (2.2.28-35)

Romeo compares Juliet to an angel, via metaphor.  A metaphor is a comparison between two unalike things where the speaker says that one thing is another.  Here, the comparison shows us just how he feels about her.  To him, she seems divine.  He says that she is as wonderful and amazing to him as an angel who flies above mortal men and compels them to lie on their backs so that they can gaze upon this angel.  Juliet seems otherworldly in her beauty, and Romeo is utterly entranced by her.  She seems capable of things -- like walking through the clouds and sailing through the air -- that normal people cannot do.  He uses a simile when he says that she is "As [...] a wingèd messenger of heaven," comparing two unalike things using the word like or as.  It is a similar comparison -- of Juliet to an angel -- but a different poetic device.

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Romeo and Juliet

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