What are some metaphors, similes, and other literary devices in Romeo and Juliet ACT 2 ONLY!!I need to identify some literary devices in the play of Romeo and Juliet ACT 2 for my essay

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mwestwood eNotes educator| Certified Educator


Shakespeare's poetic Romeo and Juliet is replete with literary devices, especially in Act II.  Here are some from scenes 1-3:

1. In scene one, Mercutio humorously compares Romeo to an ape in his metaphor "The ape is dead, and I must conjure him" (2.1.14)

One literary technique that is prevalent throughout the play, and especially salient in the balcony scene of the second act is the use of light/dark imagery. 

2. In this scene, Romeo compares Juliet to the sun of which the Moon is envious.  Here, of course, the Moon is personified:

But, soft!  What light through yonder window breaks

It is the east, and Juliet is the sun! [metaphor]

Arise, fair sun [metaphor for Juliet] and kill the envious moon,

Who is already sick and pale with grief

that thou her maid art far more fair than she(2.2.3-7)

3. Romeo addresses Juliet [apostrophe]:

Oh, speak again, bright angel! [metaphor for Juliet] For thou art

As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,

As is a winged messenger of Heaven [simile]

Unto the white-upturned wondering eye

Of mortals that fall back on him

When he bestrides the lazy paining clouds [personification]

And sails upon the bosom of the air [personification] (2.2.28-34)

4.  When Juliet does address Romeo, he calls her the metaphor of "dear saint" and declares that he will be "new baptized" and change his name.  Here there are religious figures of speech, as well, which extends from their pilgrim sonnet of the first act. (extended metaphor)

5.  He tells Juliet that he has scaled the orchard walls "with love's light wings,"  a metaphor for how he felt and alliteration in the repetition of the cosonant /l/  [/l/ means the sound of the letter l]

6. Again, there is much light/dark imagery in this scene  as Romeo tells Juliet "I have night's cloak to hide me from their eyes" (2.2. 79),and Juliet says, "Thou know'st the mask of night [metaphor] is on my face" (2.2.89) and she tells him "dark night hath discovered" [personification and imagery]

7. Juliet tells Romeo that his "gracious self" [figure of speech] is "the god of my idolatry" [metaphor] (2.2. 119)

8. In a simile, Juliet avows:

My bounty is as boundless [alliteration] as the sea,

My love as deep...(2.2.139-140)

And, in another simile, Juliet cautions against vowing their love for it is "too rash/Too like lightning" (2.2.125)

9. Romeo employs alliteration in his response, "Oh, blessed, blessed night" (2.2.145), as does Juliet when she says goodbye:

Good nght, good night!  Parting is such sweet sorrow [metaphor and alliteration]

That I shall say good night till it be morrow. (2.2.198-199)

10. In the next scene in his soliloquy, Friar Lawrence employs the light/dark imagery as well as other literary devices:

The gray-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,

Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,

And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels--[simile]

From forth day's path and Titan's [mythological allusion] fiery wheels [metaphor for the sun]  (another allusion is to Echo in mythology)

Now, ere the sun advance his burning eye [personification]

The day to cheer and night's dank dew to dry; [alliteration] (2.3.1-6)