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Literary Terms in Romeo and Juilet
Transcript of Literary Terms in Romeo and Juilet
The exposition in
Romeo and Juliet
starts with the Prologue and ends after the first fight (Prologue, lines 1-14 and Act 1, Scene 1, Lines 1-96).
The effect of this literary device is that it introduces the reader to the story and all the main characters
Theses passages are significant to book because they introduce the reader into the atmosphere of the story
The climax is the most intense part of a story. The climax in
Romeo and Juliet
is when Romeo and Juliet both die (Act 5, Scene 3, Line 120 and Line 170).
The effect this device has in the passage is that allows an intense moment in the story where everything has come together and ended.
The effect this passage has on the whole story is that it sets the stage for the falling action and resolution for the story.
The falling action in a story comes right after the climax and leads to the resolution.
The falling action in
Romeo and Juliet
is when Friar Laurence explains the story's events to the rest of the characters (Act 5, Scene 3, Lines 229-269).
The effect of this device in this passage is that it creates an in-text summary of all the events that had happened in the story
The effect this passage has on the play is that it concludes the characters of Romeo and Juliet and prepares the reader for the resolution
The rising action(s) in a story consist of the smaller conflicts leading up to the climax
An example of a rising action is when Romeo sneaks into the Capulet garden to see Juliet (Act 2, Scene 1, Lines 1-2).
The effect of this device in this passage is that it adds on to the main conflict of love. It does this by showing what Romeo will do for love at first-sight.
The effect of this device as a whole helps keep the reader interested in the story before the arrival of the climax
By: Harrison Hemminghaus
Literary Terms in Romeo and Juliet
The resolution in a story is when the main conflict is resolved.
The resolution of Romeo and Juliet is when the heads of each family vow to end their feud and resolve to build statues for each other's lost child (Act 5, Scene 3, Lines 298-302).
The effect of this device in the passage allows the story to conclude
The effect of this passage in the story is that it is the concluding passage and marks the end of the story
A catastrophe is an event or circumstances that cause great and/or sudden damage in a story.
The catastrophe in
Romeo and Juliet
is that both lovers come from families that hate each other.
The effect this device has on the story is that it is the sole reason Romeo and Juliet had to keep their love a secret. If their families did not hate each other then there would be no reason to keep the relationship hidden
The setting of the story is the time and place it takes place
The setting of Romeo and Juliet is in the past and in an Italian town called Verona (Prologue)
This passage is significant to the story because it reminds the reader where the story is taking place
A prologue is a separate introductory section of a literary work.
The prologue in
Romeo and Julie
t is right before Act 1, Scene 1
This section of a story is significant because it sets the stage even further than the setting
A sonnet is a poem of 14 lines using any formal rhyme scheme.
An example of a sonnet in
Romeo and and Juliet
is when Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time (Act 1, Scene 5, Line 96-103).
This device adds a cheery effect to the lines spoken by both Romeo and Juliet during this particular outtake
This significance of this passage is that it is the first time Romeo and Juliet meet, the beginning of their love for each other.
Symbolism is when an object is looked at in a way other than its literal form.
An example of symbolism in Romeo and Juliet is when Romeo states, "I defy you stars!" This is comparing the stars to the fates and Romeo is openly defying fate (Act 5, Scene 4, Line 24).
This device helps make the passage more interesting because instead of saying he defies the fates, he says he defies the stars.
This passage is significant because it shows how Romeo has had enough of the stars controlling his destiny, and shows that he is ready to take his life into his own hands
A round character is a character who the reader knows a lot about, whether it is the character's past or his/her qualities. A flat character is a character who not much is known about.
An example of a flat character is Rosaline, who the reader is not given much information about (Act 1, Scene 2, Lines 82-83). An example of a round character is Romeo because the reader knows much information about his personality and character.
These characters are significant in Romeo and Juliet because Romeo is a main character and Rosaline puts Romeo in the right mood to meet Juliet.
Characters: Round Vs. Flat
A static character is a character who does not change much or at all through out a story. A dynamic character has many big changes, whether it is an appearance change or a personality change.
An example of a static character is Benvolio, through the whole story, he is pretty much the same person. Juliet on the other hand, is a dynamic character because she changes from being an obedient, young-minded girl to an independent and mature woman throughout the story.
This device is important in a story because it shows change of character's personalities and appearances
Characters: Static Vs. Dynamic
A dramatic foil is when two characters share opposite traits of each other.
An example of a foil in
Romeo and Juliet
are Tybalt and Benvolio. Tybalt is aggressive and violent and Benvolio is peaceful.
Another example is of Romeo and Mercutio. Mercutio is easy-going and cheerful and Romeo is serious and always depressed about something.
This device is significant in Romeo and Juliet because ,at times, it shows even more, how different the two families are.
A protagonist is the main character in a story.
Romeo and Juliet
, an example of a protagonist would be Romeo. This is because the whole story is about Juliet and him being in a relationship.
Protagonists are important in a story because it gives the story someone to focus on
The antagonist is the person who opposes the protagonist and what he/she stands for.
An example of an antagonist in Romeo and Juliet would be Paris. This is because Paris is always trying to marry Juliet, thus getting in between Romeo and Juliet.
Antagonists are important to a story because they provide action and something to overcome for the main characters.
Indirect characterization is when the character's personality is revealed through his/her actions, appearances and dialogue. Direct characterization is when the author or a character directly tell the reader what he/she is
An example of indirect characterization is when Romeo sees Juliet for the first time (Act 1, Scene 5, lines 42-51). An example direct characterization is when Romeo is discussing Mercuitio's love of himself with the Nurse (Act 2, Scene 4).
Indirect characterization is important because it gives the author a nice way to describe a character without just saying it
Characterization: Indirect Vs Direct
There are four types of external conflicts, which are conflicts outside of a person's body: man vs man, man vs nature, man vs fate and mam vs society.
Man vs man is when people fight each other, man vs nature is when people are battling nature, usually weather, man vs fate is when people are trying to change their destiny and man vs society is when a person is doing something that is not generally accepted.
An example of an external conflict is when Romeo battles Tybalt, which is man vs man (Act 3, Scene 1, lines 123-125).
Internal conflict is when a conflict takes place inside a person. This type of internal conflict is called man vs self.
An example of this is when Romeo struggles with his feelings and contemplates suicide (Act 3, Scene 3, lines 106-108).
Conflict: Internal Vs. External
A pun is a joke exploiting the different possible meanings of a word.
An example of a pun in Romeo and Juliet is Mercutio is talking about love while going to the Capulet party (Act 1, scene 4, lines 23-24).
The device adds a comical effect to the passage because puns are often used in jokes.
This passage is important to the rest of the story because it further adds to Mercutio's character.
A comic relief is when there is a funny scene to offset the overall seriousness of the current mood.
An example of comic relief is when the Nurse talks about betting her teeth (Act 1, scene 3, lines 13-16).
This device used in this particular scene helps add to the general euphoric feeling being felt at the time.
This passage indirectly characterizes the Nurse as a funny, inappropriate character.
An oxymoron is a figure of speech that uses a combination of contradictory words.
An example of this is when Romeo is weeping about his failed relationship with Rosaline (Act 1, scene 1, lines 164-176). In his dialogue, he compares love and hate. which are opposite words.
This device makes Romeo seem more sincere about his depression of Rosaline.
This passage is important because it helps give a brief look into the past with Romeo love before Juliet.
A paradox is a statement that, despite sound evidence, leads to a conclusion that seems senseless.
An example of a paradox in
Romeo and Juliet
is when Juliet critizices Romeo for killing Tybalt (Act 3, scene 2, lines 87-88). In her dialogue she compares Romeo to a "spirit of a fiend in moral paradise."
This device makes Juliet seem as if she is unable to choose between being mad at Romeo or depressed about Tybalt.
This passage helps reinforce the strenght of Romeo and Juliet's relationship after Juliet decides to forgive Romeo for killing Tybalt.
An antithesis is a rhetorical device in which two opposite ideas are put together to achieve a contrasting effect
An example of an antithesis is in the prologue where it talks about love and hate (Prologue). In the paradox, love and hate is being compared.
This device is used to inform the reader that the play is about love and hate
The passage is helpful for understanding the beginning of the play.
Irony is the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite.
There are three types of irony, dramatic- facts are unknown to the characters, but known to the reader, situational- events turn out the opposite of what was expected, and verbal- which states the opposite of the writer's meaning
An example of irony is in the Prologue when it is talking about the two families (Prologue). The two families are described as having honor when in reality, neither has much honor.
This effect this device has is that it creates a joke that would be understood after the story is completed and the reader knows much more about the two families.
The effect this passage has on the story is that it creates the mood for the rest of the story.
An aside is a remark made by a character only heard by the audience.
An example of this is when Romeo is listening to Juliet on her balcony (Act 2, Scene 2, line 37).
This device allows the character another way of reaching out to the audience other than just dialogue
This passage is important because it shows that Romeo can maintain control some times when it comes to Juliet.
A monologue is a long speech by one character
An example is of Friar Laurence's speech (Act 2, scene 3, lines 1-31)
This device allows people to reveal their wisdom to other characters.
This passage is important because it allows the reader to see Friar Laurence's in depth knowledge of plants and herbs
A soliloquy is when a character speaks there thoughts aloud when they are alone
An example of this is when Romeo is expressing his thoughts (Act 2, scene 1, lines 1-2)
This device allows the reader to personally see into the thoughts of characters.
This passage is important because the reader can see into Romeo's thoughts.
A simile is a comparison between two unlikely things using like or as
An example of a simile is when Romeo is describing Juliet for the first time (Act 1, Scene 5, Lines 42-44). Romeo is comparing Juliet to a jewel, hanging from an Ethiopian's ear.
This effect this device creates is that creates a more clear image of what Romeo is comparing Juliet to.
This passage is important because it marks the beginning of the long and tragic love of himself and Juliet.
A metaphor is a comparison between two unlikely things using "is".
An example of this is when Romeo is describing Juliet on the balcony in the orchard (Act 2, scene 2, line 3). He is comparing Juliet to the sun.
This effect this device creates is that it makes Juliet seem as if she is glowing in the dark, like the sun.
This passage is important because it seems as if Romeo holds Juliet as important as the sun he compares her to.
An extended metaphor is a regular metaphor that consists of multiple sentences and sometimes, a paragraph.
An example is when Lady Capulet is talking of Paris (Act 1, scene 4, lines 82-95). She compares his face to a book.
The effect this device has is that it makes whatever is being described more majestic than what it really is.
This passage is important because it shows how highly the Capulets think of Paris.
A personification is when something non-human is given a human quality
An example of this is when Friar Laurence describes the early morning (Act 2, scene 3, line 1). He is comparing the sun to a person smiling.
The effect this device creates is that it makes the morning seem more peaceful because the sun in "smiling."
The significance of this passage is that it shows how Friar Laurence always talks in figurative language.
A hyperbole is an exaggerated statement or claim.
An example of this is when Mercutio is talking about Benvolio's temper (Act 3, scene 1, lines 16-20). He is comparing Benvolio's temper to getting mad about everything.
This device exaggerates the extent of Benvolio's anger for much more than it really is.
The importance of this passage is that it allows the reader to see Benvolio's anger which is usually hidden from view.
Foreshadowing is when a future event is referenced in a previous scene.
An example of this is when the Prince warns of any future violence (Act 1, scene 1, lines 89-90). He says that any people involved in future violence will be killed.
This device warns the reader that people will die in the near future and gives the reader a chance to prepare.
The passage signifies the sincere hope of the prince that the violence will end.
Imagery is visually descriptive or figurative language.
An example of this is when Friar Laurence describes everything relating to the early morning (Act 2, scene 3, lines 2-30).
This device creates the image the characters are describing in hopes of the reader better understand what is being observed.
The overall significance of this passage is that it shows how observant Friar Laurence is of his surroundings.
An apostrophe is a figure of speech sometimes represented by exclaiming "O".
An example of this is when Juliet is thinking aloud to herself (Act 2, scene 2, line 33).
This device adds a certain uniqueness to the speaker and gives him/her an almost musical connotation.
The significance of this passage is that Juliet openly pronounces her love for Romeo, if he chooses to let go of his family name.
An allusion is an expression designed to call something to mind without specifically mentioning it
An example of this is when Mercutio is mocking past mythological tragic love tales (Act 2, scene 4, lines 35-41).
This device creates the effect that Mercutio has evidence to support his claim and that he is not just mindlessly ranting.
The overall significance of this passage is that shows Mercutio continuously mocks Romeo about his weeping of failure in love.
A rhyme is a repetition of similar sounding words occurring at the ends of lines in poems.
An example of this is in the Prologue before the story, in which the ends of words are rhymed with each other (Prologue).
This device makes the lines being said almost seem musical and make the lines flow better.
The overall significance of this passage is to introduce the reader into the setting of the story
A couplet is two lines of verse, usually in the same meter and joined by rhyme that form a unit.
An example of this is when Lady Montague is asking about Romeo (Act 1, scene 1, lines 109-110).
This device makes the lines spoken move faster and flow better than if just spoken without rhyme.
This passage is significant because it shows Lady Montague is a caring mother who cares about her son
A blank verse is a verse without rhyme.
An example of this is when Benvolio is telling his servants to put down their weapons (Act 1, scene 1, lines 57-58).
This device has no real effect and is just plain conversation.
The overall significance of this passage is that it shows how Benvolio always tries to keep the peace.
Repetition is the action of repeating something already said.
An example of this is when the Nurse discovers Juliet's body after she has drank the poison (Act 4, scene 5, line 49-54).
This device creates an emphasizing effect on what ever is being said.
The overall significance of this passage is that the Capulets have just found Juliet "dead."
The tone is the general character or attitude of a writing.
The tone for
Romeo and Juliet
varies from being romantic at points to violent at others. The story of
Romeo and Juliet
does not have a set tone.
This device creates the overall feeling of a particular scene.
The mood is what draws an emotional response from the reader.
The mood in
Romeo and Juliet
is also not set. At times, it is happy and cheerful, and at others, it is depressing and morbid.
The mood creates differentiating effects on the reader, depending on what is being described.
A tragic hero is the protagonist of a tragedy.
An example of a tragic hero is Romeo because he is a protagonist in the tragedy of
Romeo and Juliet
This device creates a character the reader is rooting for in a tragedy.
A tragic flaw is a personality trait that leads to a character's downfall.
An example of a tragic flaw is Juliet's age. At the time, she was not even 14 yet.
This device is meant to be forgotte about because, in most cases, is overwhelmed by the character's other traits and is only remembered when something bad has happened.
The theme of a story is the underlying message of a story.
An example of a theme in
Romeo and Juliet
is that of love. Love is the center of almost every conflict in the story. The main theme regarding love however, seems to be that, no relationship should be kept secret. Because if it is, then things will surely fall apart.
Another example is that of grudges. The main reason the two families hate each other is because of a grudge. If there had not be a grudge between the two families, then Romeo and Juliet would not of had to keep their relationship hidden and would thus, prevent all the deaths from every occurring.
A third possible theme is that of forgiveness. If the two families could forgive each other for their past misdeeds then the two would most likely be on good terms and not want each other dead.