“It is too like lightning, which doth cease be…” is the line that Juliet uses to describe love as she questions Romeo’s feelings towards her and is afraid that they will “cease” be. This passage is the latter part of Act 2, Scene 2 and describes the climax of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship since it is at this time they decide to marry. This passage is foreshadowed by the events at the Capulets’ feast and foreshadows the eventual marriage of the two lovers. It also foreshadows the deaths of the couple. This is shown by Juliet’s words “All my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay/ and follow thee my lord throughout the world” Upon discovery of Romeo’s suicide when she wakes up, Juliet “follows” Romeo by killing herself in hope that the two of them will be united in death. In this passage, a shift in Juliet’s character is revealed as her maturity is shown through her remarks about the abruptness of love, Shakespeare’s theme of loyalty to love is illustrated in this passage as the two lovers meet despite their families’ feud and finally this passage emphasizes the romantic tone of the play with the beautiful language that is used when Romeo and Juliet communicate.
* Develops conflict ()
* This passage develops conflict because it foreshadows the marriage of the two lovers, as they arrange to wed the next morning.
* In this scene, Romeo and Juliet make the choice to be together, after having discovered that they are kin to rival families. They are aware of the consequences they face, but choose to place love over all else.
* Reveals character ()
* This scene reveals Juliet to be extremely devoted to Romeo. Throughout the passage, Juliet frequently remarks that she will always remain faithful to her true love, describing Romeo as the “god of her idolatry”, stating that she will worship him for the rest of her life.
* This passage also illustrates a shift in Juliet’s character. In the beginning of the play, she was revealed to be naï¿½ve, thinking that she could possibly come to love Paris merely by looking at him. However, as she falls in love with Romeo, Juliet experiences a rite of passage, which provides her with a more mature outlook on love. Love cannot be based purely on physical appearances, but must have passion as well, and it is, in fact, Juliet who delivers some of the play’s most powerful and passionate lines, including “My bounty is as boundless as the sea, my love as deep; the more I give to thee, the more I have, for both are infinite.”
* Develops themes ()
* A common theme in this passage is that of duality. The light and dark motifs throughout this passage create a sense of irony. Romeo and Juliet’s love is seen as a light in the surrounding darkness of hate. However, their declaration of love and the consummation of the marriage are done at night, while the feuding occurs in during the day.
* Another theme in this passage is the struggle between loyalty to love and loyalty to family. The enmity between the families makes the love difficult for Romeo and Juliet and they must rebel against their families to be with each other, as Romeo ventures into the Capulet orchard to see his beloved. However, both lovers choose loyalty to love over their families, which is continually seen in the dialogue.
* Lastly, the theme of love versus lust is also expressed through the actions of the two lovers. Their love is based on love at first sight, and the two agree to marriage even though they have known each other for only a couple of hours. One must wonder whether their actions are truly based on love, or rather lust. Love is always patient, but the lovers act rashly in a manner similar to lust.
* Develops tone ()
* In the beginning of the passage, Juliet responds to Romeo’s affections with reluctance, refusing to admit her love for him. However, as the scene progresses, the tone shifts from indecision to lyrical, through the lines in which Juliet states “I gave thee mine before thou didst request it; and yet I would it were to give again.” She expresses her inner feelings for Romeo, which then creates a romantic tone, through the use of beautiful imagery. The passage also ends on an optimistic note, as the lovers prepare for their impending marriage.
3. Literary Significance
* References to each other (I, you, me, names) –>
* The references to each other further illustrate the deep bond between the lovers because they cannot make a sentence without referring to each other.
* “Swearing ” Parts (God, What shall I swear by?) –>
* These parts refer to a higher power by which they swear. This emphasizes the conflict between fate vs. free will.
* References to light and dark images (lightening, flowers –> opposites)
* The references to images that are associated with light and dark, like lightening and the nature, emphasize the theme of duality. Love can be like the lightening, which is rash and quick, but also like nature, where it can blossom into a beautiful flower.
* References to night (Good-night!) –>
* This also calls attention to the theme of duality, as night is always mentioned in a positive way, like “goodnight”, or “blessed night”
* Simile/comparison (My bounty as boundless….) –>
* This is a comparison between Juliet’s love and the depth of the sea, with her saying that her love for Romeo knows no boundaries.
* References to marriage (fortunes, my lord, rites, honourable love) –>
* The references to love and marriage emphasize the theme of free will, as the lovers make the choice to engage in matrimony.
* Theatrical devices (Nurse, calls within) –>
* The dramatic devices in this passage add suspense to the scene, as they are frequently used to inform the audience that the Nurse is calling Juliet from within. This gives one the idea that Romeo may be discovered by her and the Capulets.
4. Conclusion ()
The balcony scene is one of Shakespeare’s most famous passages since it is when the two lovers plan their union and unknowingly, their own demise. Despite the knowledge about the feud between their families, Romeo and Juliet continue on their dangerous quest for love. The relationship reaches its climax when Juliet proposes to Romeo. This creates ironic tension because it contrasts with the common convention that the male must always propose to the female. This also contradicts Juliet’s hesitancy to reveal her feelings at the beginning of the passage. Romeo and Juliet is a play in which the two lovers are derived from hatred. The couple shows no concern of the hatred that surrounds them but instead; focus on their love for each other. It is through this youthful optimism that they overcome most boundaries in order to be together. However, considering the ending of this play, one must wonder which of the two is always triumphant, love or hate?