To what three heavenly bodies does Romeo compare Juliet at the beginning of Act II, Scene ii in Romeo and Juliet?

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Noelle Thompson | High School Teacher | eNotes Employee

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At the beginning of Act II, Romeo moves from the celestial to the spiritual when he compares Juliet to the sun, the stars, and finally an angel.  First, in one of the most famous lines in the play, Romeo uses metaphor to compare Juliet to the sun:  "But soft!  What light through yonder window breaks? / It is the East, and Juliet is the sun!"  Secondly, it isn't long before Romeo decides to compare Juliet's eyes to celestial orbs as well.  "Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven / Having some business, do entreat her eyes / To twinkle in their spheres till they return."  Ah, yes, Juliet has stars in her eyes.  (Is this where the colloquialism came from?)  Finally, Romeo approaches the spiritual realm by comparing Juliet to an angel, not once but twice.  "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."  Here Shakespeare reminds us subconsciously of the holy love introduced even Romeo's and Juliet's first conversation where Romeo, the humble pilgrim, approaches Juliet, the holy shrine.

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hgarey71 | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

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The three heavenly bodies that Romeo compares Juliet to in Act 2, scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet are the sun, the moon, and the stars. 

This scene occurs after the Capulets' party where Romeo and Juliet meet. Romeo breaks away from his friends and climbs the outer wall of the Capulets' dwelling. He uses a metaphor to compare Juliet to the sun. He says the moon is jealous of Juliet's beauty, personifying the moon as a woman (or the goddess Diana) whose "vestal livery" (which is a uniform worn by virgins) is pale, sick, and green. 

"But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?
It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.
Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon,
Who is already sick and pale with grief,
That thou, her maid, art far more fair than she.
Be not her maid since she is envious.
Her vestal livery is but sick and green,
And none but fools do wear it. Cast it off!"
When he sees Juliet start to speak he decides he will answer her, then realizes she is not speaking to him. He then compares Juliet's eyes to the stars, saying: 
Tis not to me she speaks.
Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven,
Having some business, do entreat her eyes
To twinkle in their spheres till they return.
In addition to the sun, the moon, and the stars, Romeo also compares Juliet to a heavenly being--an angel, in this quote: 
"O, speak again, bright angel! For thou art
As glorious to this night, being o'er my head,
As is a wingèd messenger of heaven
Unto the white, upturnèd, wondering eyes
Of mortals that fall back to gaze on him
When he bestrides the lazy-puffing clouds
And sails upon the bosom of the air."
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