Romeo and Juliet Characters





literary device

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Prince Escales

He uses strong metaphors: 'purple fountains issuing from your veins' (Act 1 Scene 1) to show how he is prepared to use violence in order to achieve peace

He is decesive in his judgement that their 'lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace' (Act 1 Scene 1)

In (Act 3 Scene 1) the Prince uses rhyming couplets such as 'And for that offence/Immediately we do exile him hence' which adds emphasis on Romeo's sentence 

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Shares iambic pentameter with Romeo which shows their close bond, and how he is Romeo's trusted confidante (Act 1 Scene 1)

B: 'Good morrow, cousin'

R: 'Is the day so young?'

Benvolio's name literally means 'well-wishing' and this is reflected throughout the play especially in (Act 1 Scene 1) when he says 'I do but keep the peace' showing how he wants to stop the fight

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Lord Capulet

He has a caring attitude towards Juliet and is reluctant to let her marry as she is 'yet a stranger in the world; she hath not seen the change of fourteen years' (Act 1 Scene 2)

Capulet further shows his caring side when he says 'but woo her, gentle Paris, get her heart' (Act 1 Scene 2)

His language becomes insulting and coarse when he is angry with Juliet: 'Hang thee, young baggage, disobedient wench' (Act 3 Scene 5) 

In his grief his language is simple and more gentle when he says 'death lies on her like an untimely frost' (Act 4 Scene 5) - this simile uses dramatic irony because the audience knows Juliet is not dead but the characters are unaware of this

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He is keen to marry Juliet and tries to persuade Capulet by saying 'Younger than she are happy mothers made' (Act 1 Scene 2) - KEY CONTEXT: the age of most marriages was very young during Shakespeare's time (Elizabethan era)

Uses possesive pronouns in 'Thy face is mine, and thou hast slander'd it' (Act 4 Scene 1) which could reflect how he views Juliet as his possession - KEY CONTEXT: inequality between men and women

When he hears of Juliet's 'death' he feels 'beguiled, divorced, wronged' (Act 4 Scene 5) as if he has been cheated of something  

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Much of the Nurse's language contains sexual banter and innuendo, which perhaps reflects her lower class status (she is less eloquent in her speech) for example, 'Go girl. Seek happy nights to happy days' (Act 1 Scene 3)

She uses terms of endearment when referring to Juliet which shows her motherly and caring attitude towards her: 'What, lamb! What ladybird!' (Act 1 Scene 3)

The Nurse knows Juliet very well and can 'tell her age unto an hour' (Act 1 Scene 3) 

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Her father's comment brings out the poignancy of Juliet's death using beautiful flower imagery: 'Deaths lies on her like an untimely frost/Upon the sweetest flower of all the field' (Capulet Act 4 Scene 5)

She has a premonition of Romeo's death further establishing the key theme of fate that is evident throughout the play: 'O God, I have an ill-divining soul! Methinks I see thee now, thou art so low, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb' (Act 3 Scene 5)

Juliet is in despair that her 'only love sprung from (her) only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late!' (Act 1 Scene 5) 

She is aware of the foolhardiness of their love: 'It is too rash, too unadvis'd, too sudden' (Act 2 Scene 2) but later is the one to suggest their marriage

The news of Tybalt's death producing conflicting emotions for Juliet and leads her to question, 'Shall I speak ill of him that is my husband?' (Act 3 Scene 2)

Juliet is happy that she can join Romeo in death, 'O happy dagger, this is thy sheath; there rust, and let me die' (Act 5 Scene 3) - the fact that Juliet's last word is 'die' is very poignant  

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Romeo uses oxymorons to show his conflicting emotions about his unrequited love for Rosaline: 'heavy lightness' 'feather of lead' 'cold fire' (Act 1 Scene 1)

Ironically even Capulet has heard of Romeo's good qualities and says that 'Verona brags of him/To be a virtuous and well goverened youth.' (Capulet Act 1 Scene 5)

Romeo has a sense of foreboding as he anticipates his first meeting of Juliet: 'My mind misgives/Some consquence yet hanging in the stars' (Act 1 Scene 4)

He realises he is a victim of his own fate after he kills Tybalt in blind rage and exclaims 'O, I am fortune's fool!' (Act 3 Scene 1) - he has lost control of his own destiny

Romeo wants to counteract his own fate after he hears the news of Juliets death: 'I defy you stars!' (Act 5 Scene 1)

Romeo's final speech recalls the Prologue in which 'star-cross'd' lives of the lovers are sacrificed to end the feud: 'O here/Will I set up my everlasting rest/And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars/From this world wearied flesh' (Act 5 Scene 3)

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Romeo contrasts Mercutio's light-hearted approach to life with his own sad state of mind, '...You have dancing shoes/With nimble soles...' (Romeo Act 1 Scene 4) 

On his death he uses the repitition of 'A plague o' both your houses!' (Act 3 Scene 1) to almost curse the two feuding families that have ultimately brought about his own death

Even on his death bed he makes an ironic joke that they 'shall find (him) a grave man' (Act 3 Scene 1)  

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Friar Lawrence

Warns the young couple of the dangers of their love: 'These violent delights have violent ends' (Act 2 Scene 6) - repitition of 'violent' to add emphasis

The Friar supplies Juliet with the potion that makes it appear as if she is dead: 'No warmth, no breath shall testify thou livest' (Act 4 Scene 1)

He doesn't believe that Romeo is truly in love with Juliet because, 'Young men's love then lies/ Not truly in their hearts but in their eyes.' (Act 2 Scene 3)

Agrees to marry Romeo and Juliet to turn their 'households' rancour to pure love' (Act 2 Scene 3)

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Tybalt professes his deep hatred for the Montagues: 'I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee' (Act 1 Scene 1) - the harsh sound of 'h' and the repitition of 'hate' empahsises the severity of the conflict and the anger embedded in it

Tybalt is very intolerant and immeadiately wants to use violence to solve problems: 'Fetch me my rapier, boy' (Act 1 Scene 5) 

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Lady Capulet

She brings upon the subject of marriage with Juliet and asks her, 'How stands your dispositions to be married?' (Act 1 Scene 3) - she uses very formal, emotionless language with her daughter which shows their detached relationship

She encourages marriage for Juliet and explains how 'Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, are already mothers' (Act 1 Scene 2)

Ironically she says how she wishes Juliet 'were married to her grave' (Act 3 Scene 5) which actually comes true 

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Lord Montague

Is frustrated that the feud is still carrything on, 'Who set this quarrel new abroach?' (Act 1 Scene 1)

Lord Capulet shows concern for Romeo because, 'Many a morning hath he there been seen, with tears augumenting the fresh morning dew' (Act 1 Scene 1)

Is completeley devasted due to all the losses he has endured: 'Alas, my leige, my wife is dead tonight, grief of my son's exile hath stopp'd her breath. What further woe conspires against mine age?' (Act 5 Scene 3)

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Lady Montague

Shows motherly concern for her son, Romeo: 'O Where is Romeo? Saw you him today? Right glad I am he was not at this fray' (Act 1 Scene 1)

She discourages violence and says, 'Thou shalt not stir a foot to seek a foe' (Act 1 Scene 1) 

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I like that you've included all the literary devices. V. helpful as most resources don't. Thanks for sharing. 

Benish Shukla


thanks for this, helped with mock exam revision x

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