Romeo and Juliet Questions and Answers
by William Shakespeare

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What literary devices are present in Juliet's soliloquy at the beginning of Act II, scene v? Please list 5.

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(All quotes are taken from The Norton Shakespeare, based on the Oxford Edition. Copyright 1997 by W.W. Norton & Company.)

In Juliet's short soliloquy, there are several literary devices employed.
1. Free Verse. The soliloquy is an example of free verse.
2. Allusion. Juliet alludes to two mythological characters. The first allusion : "Therefore do nimble-pinioned doves draw Love,..." (Line 7) "Love" is a reference to Venus, the Roman goddess of love and beauty. Venus was said to travel in a chariot drawn by doves.
The second allusion is that of Venus' son, Cupid: "...And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings." (Line 8) Cupid was the Roman god of love.
3. Simile. "She would be as swift in motion as a ball." (Line 13)
4. Personification. "My words would bandy [volley; toss; throw]" (Line 14). Juliet is wishing she could give her "words" the ability to transport the Nurse to Romeo and back quickly.
5. Hyperbole. "But old folks, many feign as they were dead--/Unwieldy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead." (Lines 16-17) This description is an exaggeration of how Juliet views those who are older than she, and this comment is a result of her unbearable anxiety as she waits for word from Romeo.
6. Couplet. Two lines that end with rhyming words:
"But old folks, many feign as they are dead--
Unwildy, slow, heavy, and pale as lead."

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hdarph1 | Student


1) Aporia: and expression of doubt "Perchance she cannot meet him"