What are some literary terms or elements in Romeo and Juliet Act 4 Scene 1?  

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droxonian eNotes educator| Certified Educator

This scene makes heavy use of dramatic irony, in that the full significance of Juliet's words are clear to both Friar Laurence and to the audience, but not to Paris. In response to Paris's comment that he and Juliet will be wed "on Thursday next," Juliet says, "What must be shall be." In response, Friar Laurence says, "That's a certain text." To Paris, this appears to be a confirmation that they will indeed be wed, but the Friar is aware that Juliet's cryptic response, not an overt denial of what Paris has said, refers to the fact that she is already committed to Romeo. The Friar's aside—"Would I knew not why it should be slow'd"—is a further example of dramatic irony with regard to this situation.

We also see an example in this scene of the dramatic technique stichomythia, in which Juliet and Paris alternate their lines. The stichomythia has the effect of making the dialogue seem to echo a sword fight or series of parries, with Juliet meeting each comment of Paris's with a response of her own as if deflecting a blow. Her language also adds to this impression in the way it mirrors Paris's (parallelism):

Come you to make confession to this father?
To answer that, I should confess to you.
Do not deny to him that you love me.
I will confess to you that I love him.

Here, we can see the effort Juliet is putting into maintaining her composure, which makes it all the more remarkable when Paris departs and we see the extent of Juliet's anxiety explode in an anguished exhortation:

O shut the door! and when thou hast done so,
Come weep with me; past hope, past cure, past help!

troutmiller eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In this scene Shakespeare uses alliteration with the letter "s." Paris says, "That she doth give her sorrow so much sway"

When Juliet has to double-talk in front of Paris, she is trying to speak to the Friar.  She says, "I will confess to you that I love him."  She means that she loves Romeo, not Paris.  This is verbal irony.

Personification is used when Juliet gives human qualities to her heart. "Or my true heart with treacherous revolt
Turn to another."

A metaphor is used when she refers to the daggar.  "this bloody knife Shall play the umpire."

These are several examples.  I hope they help.


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Romeo and Juliet

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