It is interesting, too, how Romeo's comparisons are linked to contemporary interests. The previous educator's mention of the comparison that Romeo draws between Juliet's beauty and "a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear" is a reference to ostentation and a reminder of the ways in which Europeans, at the dawn of the Age of Exploration, tended to associate exaggerated ornamentation with people from Africa and the Middle East.
During the balcony scene, he compares her not only to light and the sun but also to an ethereal, supernatural creature:
O, speak again, bright angel! for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o'er my head
As is a winged messenger of heaven
Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-pacing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air. (2.2.28-34)
This language, rather religious in nature, contrasts with the earlier astronomical comparisons to the stars and Juliet as the "sun" that "[kills] the envious moon." She is like an angel, "as glorious to his night...as is a winged messenger of heaven." She is an object to be gazed at by "mortals," as mortals would gaze at that winged messenger, a possible reference to Mercury in Roman mythology, or Hermes in Greek mythology—the messenger god of travelers and merchants.