The Symbolism of the Balcony Scene in Romeo and Juliet

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The Balcony scene takes place in a private, secluded garden that is surrounded by walls. These walls are symbolic as they represent the barriers between Romeo and Juliet and they are high which represents the dangers they are facing by seeing each other against their families’, the Montague’s and Capulet’s, wishes. The Balcony scene is not only very dramatic with many occurrences of love but also has indications of fate and what might happen in the future.

Previously in the play he obviously loved Rosaline that had more a civilized love with her. But when they met the love between Romeo and Juliet was clearly very intense and emotional. This essay is not only focusing on how dramatic this scene was but will also cover the intensity of Romeo and Juliet’s love. It will also cover why this is a tense scene and how it sets up the rest of the play. There is also a certain amount of danger in the scene that is emphasised by Juliet warning Romeo.

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The scene begins with Juliet out on her balcony talking to herself. Romeo below listening is not fully aware that he is in danger and could be caught at any minute. This does not only prove how love struck he is with Juliet but emphasises more tension in the scene. At this point he had completely forgotten his love for Rosaline that he originally had.

Originally Romeo obviously had a love for Rosaline but this was a more ‘courtly’ love. Rosaline’s and Juliet’s families set the marriage up as more of a business deal as they were both well off. Romeo was obviously not completely satisfied with the arrangement and did not get much of a say. Based on Act 1 his love for Juliet was clearly more intense and emotional which was less common in the time it was set.

Juliet had not considered marriage as much because she is only 13. She is also love struck and her character is not only romantic but also daring. In this scene that is proved by the way she is risking cutting herself off from her family by falling in love and wanting to marry Romeo. In Act 1 Scene 2 Lord Capulet mentions effectively with a rhyming couplet that she is too young to be married. “Let two more summers wither in their pride, Ere we may think her ripe to be a bride. It is clear although he says very little; he thinks he knows what is best for Juliet.

The scene is started straight away Romeo makes an important quote when he notices Juliet. “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun. This basically shows a great amount of love and mentions Juliet as light as a star. During this scene it is the night but this quote suggests that seeing Juliet is similar to looking forward to dawn.

Then he goes on about his love for her and does not have the courage to speak. When Juliet speaks Romeo applies s to her as a “bright angel’ referring love again as light. Soon after Juliet makes two important quotes, one being recognized as a big quote of the whole play. “O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art though Romeo”. Here she is questioning the fact that they are from the separate families but also Shakespeare has made sure it carries on with the romantic mood of this scene as well as indicating to Romeo what he has to do.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other would smell as sweet.” This is an example of where Shakespeare has used an epic simile to describe a point but still going into more detail about the same image.

After Romeo speaks to her Juliet is at first startled that someone is hiding listening to all her thoughts. Romeo then effectively tells Juliet that he does not wish to be a Montague if she does not like it. He also describes his deep and strong love for her and is willing to make any sacrifice to be with her.

Juliet less love struck than Romeo shows signs of despair and danger which are some of her first thought, for example “If they do see thee, they will thee”. Romeo and Juliet are not only taking a big risk but also going against the feud between the two families.

Romeo is far more love struck and does not care about the danger. But he makes an interesting point that indicates the future tragedy and fate, “My life were better ended by their. Than prorogued, wanting of thy love.”

Juliet speech shows that Juliet is slightly embarrassed because she is trying to reveal her love for him as well as asking him to swear his love for her in ‘good faith’. Romeo immediately agrees but you get the feeling from Juliet’s quotes that the whole thing is too rushed and she is being more mature. Just before the nurse calls she makes an impressive epic simile, “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee, The more I have, for both are infinite”. Here she is comparing the sea to her love and generosity. Shakespeare additionally trying to create a romantic atmosphere.

During this section of the scene Shakespeare has made sure he uses short sentences and quotes not only to keep the audience on edge but also to get the point across better and in a more interesting way.

Before long the nurse calls and again the quotes and words used seem to be rushed. Before now Romeo and Juliet had not agreed to get married until Juliet returns and offers her marriage in only seven lines. Romeo surprisingly does not agree straight away as he is still in a ‘dream’, as mentioned, but decides to confirm for the following morning.

Preceding when Juliet declares her final ‘good night, she delivers a fascinating speech by which she claims, “I would have thee gone; And yet no farther than a wanton’s bird, That lets it hop a little from her hand, Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gives, And with a silk thread plucks it back again, So loving-jealous of his liberty.” This suggests that during the time of Shakespeare, little s would do this to birds and maybe Juliet herself for entertainment. As well as a way of showing Romeo and Juliet’s truehearted love.

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The Symbolism of the Balcony Scene in Romeo and Juliet. (2023, Jun 14). Retrieved from

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