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RJ Motifs, Symbols, Themes; Juxtaposition

This presentation challenges students to find the juxtapositions that permeate the drama; adapted from a Prezi by Casey Zvanut, 30 September 2011

Amy Denham

on 18 February 2016

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Transcript of RJ Motifs, Symbols, Themes; Juxtaposition

Juxtaposition is the placement of two things side-by-side in order to compare them. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare loves to place contrasting things in close proximity to emphasize opposition - which is what the play is all about.

"...and I shall make thee think thy SWAN a CROW" - emphasizes the change that will come over Romeo later

"These violent delights have violent ends" - Here, Shakespeare changes the meaning of violent, but keeps the words in close proximity to highlight the dangers associated with passion.
A motif is a recurring pattern in a piece of literature - something that shows up over and over. Juxtaposition is, in itself, a motif in Romeo and Juliet, but certain other contrasts appear as well.
A symbol represents something else related to the theme of the literature. A dove, for example, is a common symbol for peace.

In Romeo and Juliet, the motifs themselves become symbolic: poison and medicine come to symbolize the contrast between action and intention; though we may have good intentions, sometimes the actions we choose to take have dire consequences or end up harming when we mean to help.
A theme is a universal idea that you can draw from a piece of literature - in its most basic form, it is an idea you'd be able to relate to your own life.

Romeo and Juliet is rife with themes, and surprisingly, only a few of them have to do with love.

Passion, whether driven by love or hate, leads to destruction.

Naive youth and experienced age are always deaf to one another.

Find some themes of your own!
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