The Language of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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The Language of William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

"Gibson says that Shakespeare, "brilliantly transformed whatever he

worked on", through his use of language.

Shakespeare was fascinated by language. Throughout the play 'Romeo and

Juliet', he uses words a tools to do his work and conjure images of

every different emotion. Shakespeare unleashes the whole spectrum of

emotions, always having at least two scenarios for each scene. These

usually come from the characters and 'Romeo and Juliet' is rich in

many different uses of language.

The play 'Romeo and Juliet' is full of oppositions that beset the

doomed lovers. In the prologue, we hear of an, "ancient grudge break

to new mutiny." A clever use of language, oxymorons, highlight these


An oxymoron is usually a phrase, divided into two parts. Each part is

contradictory to the other and the result is a phrase of striking

expression. An example of this would be, "O loving hate." The words

love and hate are opposite emotions, so when placed together they

emphasise and heighten the feelings of Romeo, who is describing his

love for Rosalind and Rosalind's failure to return his affections.

Oxymorons are very useful for describing these contradictory states of

feeling that people often experience in times of excitement, crisis,

and stress.

In Act 3 Scene 2 Juliet finds out about Tybalts death and that her

lover, Romeo, is the murderer. She uses several oxymorons to help

describe her torn emotions for Romeo,

"Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical! Dove-feathered raven,

wolvish-ravening lamb! Despised substance of divinest show!"

Juliet is battling with her f...

... middle of paper ...

... goose chase," and," where the devil?," are

found in the play, all of which are still widely in use today. This

shows just how much impact Shakespeare has had on the English

language, to still be able to find phrases that are 400 years old in

existence today.

Not only this, but the wide, complex spectrum of emotions created by

the words Shakespeare uses adds depth and underlying meaning to his

characters and their situations. Love, hate, every single emotion, are

illustrated through the many types of language found in the play

'Romeo and Juliet', such as metaphors, similes and puns. He even

invents his own words; giving existing words new meanings and

unexpected twists.

I think Gibson is right when he says that Shakespeare, "brilliantly

transformed whatever he worked on." 'Romeo and Juliet' is no

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