In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, are there any quotes that show the theme of appearance versus reality?

In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare shows how appearances are deceiving by comparing their relationship to that of the snake and the flower. He does this to show his theme of appearance versus reality and to show that people can not be judged by their outward appearances.

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One place in William Shakespeare’s play where reality is strongly contrasted to appearance comes in act 3, scene 2 when Juliet learns that her beloved Romeo has killed her cousin Tybalt. When the Nurse enters, devastated with grief over a killing in the street, Juliet first assumes that Romeo...

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One place in William Shakespeare’s play where reality is strongly contrasted to appearance comes in act 3, scene 2 when Juliet learns that her beloved Romeo has killed her cousin Tybalt. When the Nurse enters, devastated with grief over a killing in the street, Juliet first assumes that Romeo has been killed. Even when the Nurse tells her it is Tybalt who died, she remains ignorant of the exact circumstances, which causes her to believe the worst. Not only does Juliet blame Romeo for this terrible act, but she concludes as well that he has been deceiving her all along: he must be a bad person wearing a good mask. She employs numerous figures of speech to emphasize this incongruity, comparing him such things as a snake with the face of a flower and a book with vile content and a beautiful cover.

O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!

Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?

Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!

Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!...

Was ever book containing such vile matter

So fairly bound? O, that deceit should dwell

In such a gorgeous palace!

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One good example of dialogue showing appearance and reality comes in act 4, scene 1, when Paris runs into Juliet when she goes to meet with Friar Laurence. Paris is smitten with her and wants to chat, while Juliet, despairing over Romeo's banishment, just wants to meet with the friar already. When she tells Paris she is there to confess to the friar, Paris flirts and says, "Do not deny to him that you love me," to which Juliet replies, "I will confess to you that I love him."

Paris believes she is flirting back, but the audience knows Juliet is talking about Romeo, the man she really loves. (This echoes the earlier scene with Juliet's mother, mentioned in one of the previous answers. Juliet uses misleading wording, technically telling the truth about her feelings but hiding them from her family.)

An earlier and more famous example would be during the balcony scene in act 2, scene 1, when Juliet declares, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet." In effect, she is saying that Romeo's familial affiliation does not mask his good nature to her. Even though the name Montague appears hateful, in truth, Romeo is not a bad person.

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One good quote dealing with appearance rather than reality is a line spoken by Friar Laurence to Juliet when he councils her to fake her death in Act 4, Scene 1. Friar Laurence tells Juliet that after drinking his potion, she "shall, stiff and stark and cold, appear like death." In other words, she will appear to be dead, but in reality we know that she is not really dead yet.

Another good quote that can be used to prove the theme of appearance vs. reality is spoken by Juliet to her mother after Juliet learns that Romeo has killed Tybalt. In Act 3, Scene 5, Juliet declares to her mother, "Indeed, I never shall be satisfied with Romeo, till I behold him--dead." We know this statement is a lie. Juliet has already forgiven Romeo and does not wish to revenge Tybalt. The reality in this line is that she truly wishes to behold Romeo, but not dead.

There are several instances in which the word "true" is used, which can also serve to demonstrate the theme of appearance vs. reality. Again, in Act 4, Scene 1 in which Juliet begs Friar Laurence for advise her on how to get out of her betrothal to Paris, Juliet declares that her "true heart" will turn to suicide, saying that she will slay herself with a "bloody knife" if Friar Laurence cannot think of a way to preserve her "true honour." The use of the word "true" alludes to reality because that which is true, is also real.

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