An exploration into the language of love

I am studying Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. For my coursework I will have to describe and look at three scenes within Shakespeare’s masterpiece Romeo and Juliet. The three scenes are the party scene, balcony scene and the parting. While looking at these scenes I will be describing the language of love for example referring to religion and contrasts between light and dark as another example. In the party scene (act 1 scene 3) when Romeo first lays eyes upon Juliet he is instantly attracted to her and taken in by her breath taking beauty.

The first words he speaks are “O she doth teach the torches to burn bright”. If you look at this quotation the first word Romeo speaks is ‘O’ this is as though he is taken away by her immense beauty. Also when he says burn bright it means she stands out as a burning light would. What you must remember is that Romeo and Juliet are at a party which means there is a lot of people and he only notices her as she is so beautiful hence the ‘burn bright’. This is what we call the language of love. Throughout this wonderful play thee are many more examples of this.

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“So shows a snowy white dove trooping with crows”. This is similar to the first example as it uses a contrast between light and dark. Snowy dove being the beautiful, graceful Juliet and the crows being all the other less beautiful girls. This is Shakespeare’s effective method of showing how much more beautiful Juliet is that the other girls and it also makes her seem better. She is a pure innocent dove and they are ugly crows. Another different style of the language of love Shakespeare uses very well in this play.

In the first block of speech we see this as he instead of using a comparison says “beauty to rich for use, for earth to dear”. This is implying that she is an angel and to good for earth. Angels are seen as beautiful things and there heavenly beauty is too much for earth. Also Romeo says that she is too good for him “And touching hers, make blessed my rude hand”. Him saying this makes her better as he is saying that in this first block of speech it proves that Romeo is fickle as previously being in love with Juliet he was in love with Rosaline but she is forgotten.

When Romeo and Juliet first meet Romeo’s first line is “if I profane my unworthiest hand” this means that Juliet is not in his league and is too beautiful for him. The he begins to refer to her using religious terms. “This holy shrine” this means that she is a holy shrine and a holy shrine is something which is worshipped. “My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand” this is a great example of the language of love. By comparing his lips to pilgrims and pilgrims travel to worship. So it is as though his lips are to worship Juliet.

Half way through the sonnet Romeo says, “Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too? ” He is again referring to him being a pilgrim and Juliet is being referred to some sort of religious character. That type of comparison is very often seen when looking at the language of love and especially in this play. Towards the end of the section when they first meet Romeo says “Sin from my lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again”. This means that she is so good and pure she can eradicate the bad from inside of him.

Then they find out that they are each in love with their families enemies but it dose not stop them which is an indication of the type of love that they share for each other. “That I must love a loathed enemy”. The sonnets within this section seem to isolate them from the rest of the party and all the other people there as if they where in their own little bubble. Now onto the Balcony scene. When Juliet first enters Romeos reaction is as if she is a light shining through a window “But soft! What light through yonder window breaks?

” This is going back to seeing Juliet as a light which is ever present when talking about the language of love, we see this appear a few times through out this entire first section of Romeos speech. I will present a few more examples. “It is the East, and Juliet is the sun! ” This is referring to Juliet like a beautiful morning as the sun rises in the east. “The brightness of her cheek would shame those stars” Instead of referring to the sun this time he is using stars saying that she is brighter and more beautiful than the stars in the sky.

In Romeos first speech thrice he says “O” as though he is fascinated by her it is also like he is in awe of her. Then towards the end of his first speech he says “O that I were a glove upon that hand, That I might touch that cheek”. He wishes that he is her glove as she his resting upon her hand and if he was a glove he would be touching her cheek. These are great examples and all of them are showing Romeos love for Juliet. Then we hear Juliet talk for the first time she says “Ay me! ” This is as though she is sighing; flattered by the language of love that Romeo is speaking.

Then in Romeos next speech he refers more to Juliet as being an Angel “Bright angel” and “winged messenger” it is as though he has been amazed by her speech so he decides to start referring her to the most beautiful thing imaginable which is a pure, innocent angel. Juliet speaks one of the most famous Shakespearian sections of text “O Romeo, Romeo! Wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name! ” What this actually means is that she is saying to herself why does he have to be a Montague. By saying, “Deny thy father and refuse thy name!…..

And I’ll no longer be a Capulet” she means that she is willing to give up everything all for Romeo even her family name. Then she speaks on about her family name saying that names mean nothing to her. What’s Montague? Then Romeo declares his love and claims he will give up his name. “I take thee at thy word. Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptiz’d; Henceforth I never will be Romeo” The fact that they are both willing to forget the great rivalry and hatred between the two families it is a measurement of their love and affection towards each other.

Then as we carry on through the piece we see that Juliet becomes worried of Romeos life as he is in the enemies garden. How cam’st thou hither… the place death… if any of my kinsman find thee here. This is a good way of proving that she cares for him deeply and is a way for Shakespeare to show their relationship. There Is some examples of personification used in this scene. “I have nights cloak” he is referring to night as covering him and hiding him from his enemies. Also we see Juliet use personification also referring to night “mask of night”.

Also we see some metaphor within this scene when Juliet refers to their love blossoming. “This bud of love, by summer’s ripening breath, nay prove a beauteous flow’r when we next meet. ” Also we see a link with the first scene it goes back to mentioning the religion aspect of the language of love. But this time it is Juliet that is using the comparison by referring to Romeo as godlike “god of my idolatry. ” Now onto the parting scene this is where Romeo and Juliet part. Te scene is set on the morning after the wedding. In the other scenes I have been analysing we see night as bad and light as good.

But this scene is contrary to that it uses light as bad and night as good. It does this as in the night Romeo and Juliet can be in peace but as day comes around it means that Romeo is going to have to leave her or be killed. A perfect example of this is ” clouds in yonder east” the sun rises in the east so this means day and the clouds represent the troubles that Romeo is facing. “Jocund day stands tip toe on the misty mountain tops” he talks as day being jolly and he should be happy but the fact that the day is coming is very bad and will result in them parting.

This is also an example of personification, which gives an image that the readers can relate to. Another example of Shakespeare using the day in a negative manner is “It is the lark that sings out of tune, Straining harsh discords and unpleasing sharps” the lark singing is usually used positively but here it is used as singing out of tune which means that it is not actually an awful sound what the singing symbolises is actually bad. Also one of my favourite sentences “More light and light- more dark and dark are woes!

” this means as it gets lighter the troubles he had get worse. Also it uses light and dark twice to add extra significance and more emphasis upon the problem and the troubles. Throughout this scene we see that light is shown negatively and dark is shown positively which I think is a great way to show the parting by changing completely the style and manner in which light and dark are used. In the language of love light is used as beautiful and good and night is seen as bad and ugly but Shakespeare changes this to show significance in Romeo and Juliet being together.