Soliloquy In Romeo And Juliet

What are some examples of soliloquies in Act II of Romeo and Juliet?

Please include line numbers if possible!

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andrewnightingale eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A soliloquy, also called a monologue, is a form of speech in which a character in a play expresses his thoughts, plans, sentiments or ideas aloud for the audience to hear. In this form of oration, the character is speaking to himself and the other characters are not involved. An aside can, in this context, also be seen as a soliloquy since the character is expressing his thoughts and the audience realizes that the speech is unheard by the other characters.

In Act ll, scene ll, from line 2 to 26, Romeo expresses his thoughts about Juliet when he sees her appear on the balcony in a soliloquy. He starts off by comparing Juliet to the sun rising in the east and throughout the monologue he uses metaphors, similes rhetorical questions and exaggeration in a declaration of love and passion for the beautiful young Capulet. It is clear from what he says that Romeo is truly smitten and would do anything to be with her.

Both Romeo and Juliet express their sentiments in brief soliloquies from hereon (lines 27 to 52) ending with Juliet stating that Romeo is but an enemy of her family only in name but that it is he that she loves and not his name. Upon her expressing the wish that he should renounce his name, Romeo speaks up and addresses her.

Scene lll starts with friar Laurence expressing his sentiments in a monologue in lines 1 to 22, until Romeo appears. His comments here relate to nature and the power that it has. It is ironic that he comments about the power that plants have and that everything that is good can have bad outcome should it be abused. These words foreshadow the bad that will follow from the good of Romeo and Juliet's love for each other.

At the beginning of scene V (lines 1-17) in her soliloquy, Juliet expresses her impatience with the nurse whom she had sent with a message to Romeo. The nurse has been gone for three hours and Juliet is vexed that she has not returned yet. She feels that, in matters of love, things should happen faster and she cannot wait any longer to hear Romeo's response.

These examples illustrate the impetuous nature of Romeo and Juliet's passion. Their thoughts speak of two young and inexperienced lovers who are prepared to take risks to be with one another. It is this impatience and naive belief that 'love conquers all' which will, ultimately, lead to a most tragic outcome.

accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Let us remember that a soliloquy is defined as a speech that a character says to themselves, that shows us their inner thoughts and what they are really thinking and feeling. Often soliloquies are uttered whilst they are on the stage by themselves, so they are a very intimate revelation of a character's emotions and feelings. Shakespeare uses soliloquies in various places throughout his plays, and Act II of Romeo and Juliet is no exception. 

In Act II scene 5, for example, the scene commences with a soliloquy from Juliet when she shows how anxious she is about having sent the Nurse to meet with Romeo and to get Romeo's response as to whether they are going to marry or not:

The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;

In half an hour she promised to return.

Another soliloquy is said by Friar Laurence at the beginning of scene 3 when he talks about his skill with plants and their medicinal properties. Perhaps one of the most famous soliloquies in the whole play is in scene 2, when Romeo is hiding beneath Juliet's balcony and sees her enter.

Now, see if you can find any more exmaples of soliloquies. Good luck!

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Romeo and Juliet

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