During the play Shakespeare is able to exploit a number of techniques; it is through these techniques the audience is able to e what the primary problems and themes of the play are. Through exploration of this scene I aim to show how Shakespeare accomplishes this. In this scene their true feelings are revealed for the first time. The garden setting is more than just a closed Off meeting place, it presents us with a biblical image of the Garden of Eden, which signifies purity, freshness and a new beginning.
As the balcony scene unfolds, Romeo invades Gullet’s privacy by interrupting her aloud thoughts, which becomes evident when he overhears her soliloquy. Here, Shakespeare breaks away from the tropically soliloquy, which is traditionally a speech where a character shares his or her inner thoughts only with the audience. However the fact Romeo hears this could be said an invasion of privacy, or possibly that he was meant to hear what she had to say.
The fact Juliet allows Romeo to interrupt her and continues the conversation shows to the audience that they both have a willingness to grow the relationship.
Shakespeare juxtaposes the balcony scene with Americium’s sexual jokes and innuendos in the previous scene. Romeo goes back to the religious imagery used between himself and Juliet in their sonnets at the party and describes Juliet as “a bright angel” and a “dear saint. ” The recurring use of religious imagery emphasizes the purity of their love this contrasts with the Nurse and Americium’s understanding of love that is constituted in the physical, sexual aspects and highlights to us the genuine nature of Romeos new found feelings for Juliet.
Romeos first speech highlights to us that his fascination for Rosalie is now gone. This is shown when Romeo says “arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon” here Romeo compares Juliet to the sun which is rising and Rosalie to the moon which is setting thus demonstrating to us that he has moved on from his previous feelings for Rosalie. His continued reference to courtly love shows his immaturity and his difficulty in expressing his feelings. However, as he meets Juliet and begins to realize it is more than a physical attraction his feelings, and the way he shows them, become more sincere.
Romeo also compares Juliet to light, this is a recurring motif throughout and shows Romeo has left behind his melodramatic nature and moved toward a more genuine, mature understanding of love. Romeos speech changes to blank verse rather than the rhymed iambic pentameter of the previous scene which notes a change in mood to a more serious genuine mood. The staging and Romeos speech, highlight the physical distance between the two characters. Romeo is standing on the ground and Juliet is above on the balcony when Romeo says “O, speak again, bright angel! It continues the conceit of light as well as tying in with the religious imagery. It also adds to the distance as he is referring to angels which would commonly be found in heaven above. He also talks about physical distance when he says “being o’er my head” the metaphorical distance evident is the feud between the two families and the distance between them. In Gullet’s soliloquy, when she is unaware Romeo can hear her. She uses a number of different words and explores the value of a name.
Juliet compares Romeo to a rose ‘A rose by any other name would still smell as sweet” to show that if a rose had another name it would still smell the same she uses this premise with Romeo if he had a different name and not Montague he would still be Romeo the same person she loves. She asks him indirectly, still in soliloquy, to “refuse thy name” and she will “no longer be a Caplet. I’ This highlights the Conflict of the play and shows how their family names will keep them apart however if their love is true it will outshine the feud and bring them together.
In so few words Juliet is showing her willingness to marry Romeo, If but for his family name. Juliet maturity is highlighted here “what man art thou that, thus besmirched in night, so stumbles on my counsel” “How cam’s thou hither, tell me, and wherefore” here Juliet asks who is there? Once she knows it is Romeo, she moves on to her next question and asks how he got there, and why? This shows how down to earth Juliet is and shows how she logically works through problems in order to solve them.
This contrasts with the impression we get from Romeo who comes across as a more childlike thinker as he has a simplistic answer for each of Gullet’s questions. Although Romeo is beginning to mature and see love in a more positive light he remains relatively immature compared to Juliet. She is only 13 but has a very mature view of the world and the way she deals with problems. Juliet initially responds to the fact Romeo heard her soliloquy by blushing however she then contemplates the different strategies she could use to deal with the situation.
Juliet first thinks to deny it, but she rules this out because he heard her say it, so she can’t take it back. She then thinks to ask if he loves her back, however he could lie to her. Then her thoughts are to play hard to get, but she loves him too much to do that. She concludes by deciding to tell him the truth, that she does in fact love him. Romeo responds by swearing his love by the moon. Shakespeare has Juliet show the limitations of Romeos response by using a parenthetical structure “O, swear not by the moon, authentications moon, that monthly changes in her circle orb, lest that thy love prove likewise variable. She stops him because the moon isn’t a constant and for her to marry him his love must be constant. Instead of using this traditional poetic way of expressing himself she prompts him to be more genuine about his feelings. Really at this point she is prompting Romeo to show his own mind, and not traditional laid out values. This maturity also shows in the fact that Juliet wants to find a true love of her own, instead of following her parents wishes of an arranged marriage with Paris.
Juliet makes a promise to Romeo to “follow thee my lord throughout the world ” this contains dramatic irony and foreshadows the final scene of the play where Romeo and Juliet die. As both say goodbye the anticipation is heightened Of their upcoming marriage and it continues to build tension. Even at this time of happiness, Shakespeare wants to make poignant this picture of a new love by introducing a sense of foreboding reminding us of he ultimate fate of the love between Romeo and Juliet.
Romeo gives voice to a sense of foreboding through his use of legal language in the previous act using the word “ultimately’. Romeo says “hanging in the stars” which links to the final fate of the two lovers by linking to the prologue when “star crossed lovers” are mentioned this highlights to us that fate will lead the couple to their untimely death. Juliet has similar reservations in the previous act “My grave is like to be my wedding bed” this foreshadows her eventual fate saying ere wedding will be their downfall and the cause of their demise.
This foreboding also acknowledges the tension between the two families. Despite her youth, Gullet’s characterization of her love suggests depth and passion mentioned earlier in her soliloquy. Here Juliet employs an image of the sea to characterize her love for Romeo. This image highlights that Gullet’s love is deep and infinite. “Boundless as the sea” This is reinforced by the staging as Juliet leaves and renters the stage a number of times. By doing this like the waves ebbing and flowing, her character makes multiple entrances onto the stage reinforcing her declaration of love.
Finally her strength of character, already shown in the way she dealt with her embarrassing disclosure of love, allows her to defy convention; It is unusual at this time for a woman to propose marriage to the man, however in this play she does so, showing she is a strong person who knows what she wants and is not constrained by popular belief. It is this strong personality that causes Juliet to come to a sensible conclusion of legitimizing her passion. Following her beliefs and passion is why Juliet is so willing to be married.
Cite this Who Is Mercutio In Romeo And Juliet
Who Is Mercutio In Romeo And Juliet. (2018, Mar 18). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/romeo-and-juliet-the-balcony-scene-2/