What literary elements are in this quote from Romeo and Juliet spoken by Paris in Act V, Scene 3? Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strewO woe, thy canopy is dust and stones!Which with...

What literary elements are in this quote from Romeo and Juliet spoken by Paris in Act V, Scene 3?

Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew
O woe, thy canopy is dust and stones!
Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,
Or, wanting that, with tears distilled by moans.
The obsequies that I for thee will keep
Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep.
 
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mercut1469 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

These words are spoken by Paris at the beginning of Act V, Scene 3. He has come to pay his respects to Juliet by spreading flowers and scented water around Capulet's vault where the girl has been entombed. His words here suggest that Paris truly loved Juliet and that his attempts to marry her were not based solely on economic or social circumstances. 

Paris has just arrived and has sent his page to keep watch for anyone approaching the graveyard. When he steps in front of the vault, he says,

Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew
O woe, thy canopy is dust and stones!
Which with sweet water nightly I will dew,
Or, wanting that, with tears distilled by moans.
The obsequies that I for thee will keep
Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep.
Shakespeare uses a series of metaphors in these words. Paris first compares Juliet to a sweet flower, similar to Lord Capulet's comparison—"Death lies on her like an untimely frost Upon the sweetest flower of all the field" in Act IV, Scene. Then the tomb itself is compared to her bridal bed and the canopy of that bed is now made up of dust and stones. He proclaims that he will water the tomb every night with sweet water, but if he is without that, he will water it with his tears as he cries each night over her death. The naming of Juliet as a sweet flower might also be considered an epithet, a descriptive adjective or phrase used to characterize someone or something.  
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Romeo and Juliet

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