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Language in Romeo and Juliet

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Audrey Bell

on 6 March 2013

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Transcript of Language in Romeo and Juliet

"If I profane with my unworthiest hand...My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand" (1.5.92-94). "Let lips do what hands do:/ They pray: grant thou, lest faith turn to despair" (1.V.102-103). Once again, Romeo is treating Juliet as though she is worth worshiping or praying to, giving her the appearance of something sacred or holy, like a God. He also equates praying to something divine with kissing her lips, which further insinuates that Juliet is a divinity and Romeo is a loyal worshiper, but it also insinuates that Romeo's love for Juliet is comparable to a religious follower's faith in God. If Juliet denied him a kiss, it would be equivalent to a God denying a prayer, but if she kissed him, he would continue to have faith in and love her. "Bright angel...a winged messenger of heaven/ Unto the white-upturned wondering eyes/ Of mortals" (II.II.26-30). This time, Romeo is calling Juliet angelic and comparing her with a messenger from heaven. Angels are incredibly compassionate and beneficent beings, indicating Juliet's kind heart and helpfulness, and they are very faithful to God, meaning that Romeo is trustful of Juliet and his love for her. Also, he states that, when people witness an angel, they stop whatever they are doing and focus their full attention onto him/her; this means that, whenever people sees Juliet, she is so beautiful and wonderful that everyone stops to stare and admire her, so she must be very lovely. Angels are considered very holy too, so Juliet must have holiness as well. "Dear saint" (II.II.55) Religious Figure: (based off of Dictionary.com's definition of saint) A person of exceptional holiness, virtue, or benevolence in religious works. Romeo flirts with Juliet by downgrading himself, describing his features as unworthy when compared to hers. By discrediting himself, he is enhancing Juliet features and making her seem honorable and virtuous in contrast to him. Also, he refers to his lips as pilgrims, travelers who journey to holy sites; this makes Juliet appear holy or worth worshiping and Romeo appear as a worshiper or someone who seeks religious guidance. This might be an analogy to how Romeo seeks Juliet as his lover by praising her through religious references. Saints are the image of holiness, benevolence, and faithfulness, so by calling her a saint, Romeo is implying Juliet exemplifies all of these virtues and is an honorable person. On the other hand, again, Romeo is making Juliet seem more righteous than he is, as though she is too good for him and he does not deserve her or, because she is far better than he is, he deserves help or love from her. If she, someone similar to a saint, loved him, maybe she could turn him into a better person. This is related to the original quote because both involve Juliet being referenced as a holy figure and Romeo as a worshiper. This relates back to the original quote because both reference Juliet's kind-heartedness and holiness and Romeo's loyalty to her and his love for her. This references back the original quote because both discredit Romeo's qualities and describe Juliet as far more holy, trustworthy, and passionate being.
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