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The Language of Love in Romeo and Juliet - Research Paper Example

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This paper “The Language of Love in Romeo and Juliet” questions how the language in the text, specifically in dialogues between the two protagonists, works beyond its literal meaning. What effects, other than the obvious expression of fanatical love, does this rhetoric have on the present-day reader?…
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The Language of Love in Romeo and Juliet
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Download file to see previous pages Wisam Mansour in his essay entitled “The taming of Romeo in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet” talks about how in the famous balcony scene (Scene 2.2) the use of the falconry image serves to portray Romeo as a falcon and Juliet as his trainer. Shakespeare, therefore, gives to Juliet, agency, and power that is usually denied to women characters in Renaissance fiction (Mansour, 2006). Juliet becomes the masculine, dominating partner in this interaction. Although overtly it is Romeo who is wooing Juliet, Juliet seems to be leading him along. This is made most apparent in the following lines:
JULIET: 'Tis almost morning; I would have thee gone:
And yet no further than a wanton's bird;
Who lets it hop a little from her hand,
Like a poor prisoner in his twisted gyves,
And with a silk thread plucks it back again,
So loving-jealous of his liberty.
ROMEO: I would I was thy bird. (II.ii.186-191)
The phrases “No further”, “poor prisoner” and “plucks it back again” make it evident that Juliet exercises total control over Romeo at this point. This is in keeping with the Petrarchan construction of the “beloved though cruel” (Cottino-Jones, 1975) object of desire where the lady love is often depicted as tyrannous to the insignificant lover-poet. But Juliet differs markedly from the typical Petrarchan beloved as she falls in love with Romeo right away instead of “freezing” his confession of love (Wells, 1998). This is only one of the ways in which Shakespeare uses and at the same time overturns typical Petrarchan conceits through the dialogues between Romeo and Juliet. ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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