The Inner Struggles of Romeo and Juliet Essay

The Inner Struggles of Romeo and Juliet Essay

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In the tragedy 'Romeo and Juliet', Shakespeare presents the inner struggles of Romeo and Juliet, the two protagonists as one of the main themes. This is clearly shown at the end of Act 3 Scene 2 when Juliet receives the news that Romeo has been banished and Tybalt has been killed. Juliet is distraught at the conflict of her loyalties. Should she express love for her family or should she express love for Romeo? By using many different language features, such as oxymorons, paradox, antithesis and dramatic irony, Shakespeare effectively displays Juliet's conflicting emotions. Later in the play, Shakespeare uses the betrayal by adults to again show the inner struggles of Romeo and Juliet.

In this passage from Act 3 Scene 2, Juliet waits for Romeo to come to her on their wedding night. She urges Romeo to “gallop apace” so that that night would come and bring him to her. Here, dramatic irony is used by Shakespeare to imply that although Juliet is still waiting for Romeo's arrival, the reader knows that Romeo has killed Tybalt and has been banished from Verona. After this, Juliet receives the news from the Nurse about Tybalt's death and Romeo's banishment. Shakespeare uses animal imagery and oxymorons to show Juliet's constant juggling between the two sides of her beloved, the side of her husband of 3 hours and the side of a cousin that she has known for her whole life. The passage shows that though Juliet is distraught at the conflict of her loyalties, Juliet turns on the nurse when she tries to comfort her by criticising Romeo. Juliet's doting nurse questions her intentions after Juliet uses an extended metaphor “For 'tis a throne where honour may be crown'd / Sole monarch of the universal earth” to signify the importance of Romeo t...


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...iful on the outside but may contain evil contents. The word “book” is also mentioned in Act 1 Scene 3 by Lady Capulet referring to Paris which showed how she thought Paris would be very suitable for her. Here, Shakespeare used an antithesis, this time, to reflect Paris is the great contents of a book that is only lacking a cover which may be Juliet. “Dove – feather'd raven! Wolvish – ravening lamb!” (3:2) is a animal imagery with oxymoron. This, moreover shows the conflicting feeling of Juliet.

Throughout the play “Romeo and Juliet”, the theme of inner struggles of Romeo and Juliet are explored cleverly by Shakespeare with many language features such as oxymorons, dramatic irony, hyperbole, antithesis and paradox. Other themes like love and adult misunderstanding of Romeo and Juliet are also the key factors that influenced the inner struggles of Romeo and Juliet.

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