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Romeo and Juliet’s Love by Shakespeare

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Juliet’s speech uses many images to express her love and longing for her beloved Romeo. The apposition of night and day, or light and dark play a key role in this scene. It is full of personification, as Juliet personifies the night as a ‘sober suited matron all in black’ and as a ‘loving, black-browed night’ turning the night into something human and comforting. She waits for Romeo and believes that the excitement she feels in seeing Romeo at night makes night more pleasant than day for her. Most people are afraid of night, but not these two. They can only safely get together under the cover of night. 

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Both Romeo and Juliet find the night to be comforting. Juliet wants night to come because with night will bring her love, Romeo. She goes on about how night is the place for lovers to create their own light enabling them to be comfortably intimate. Juliet is desperate for night to arrive telling the sun to gallop apace or to run away. She wants Romeo to come at night since it is only at night, they can consummate their marriage, as the darkness hides Romeo. Night allows them to perform their love. ‘So tedious is this day’, she is impatient for the day to be over and she looks forward to their time together, this shows that she is a sexual being. 

Juliet was frustrated that ‘she had bought a house of love but not yet taken possession of it’ – she felt like a brand-new item that hadn’t been used. She did not need daylight because their own beauty was light enough to see by and thus if love is blind, night is the best time for it. Darkness gave the freedom to the couple throughout the play as they met at night, have sex, and tragically die at night. With so much of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship in darkness, Shakespeare is highlighting how the lovers are set apart from the rest of the world. They basically live out their love for one another when the rest of the world are gone to sleep. This gives them an almost mystical and surreal quality and it also highlights the idea their relationship is like a dream as we dream at night, a short-lived pleasure. Repetition of the word night as it is used often in the scene in reference to Romeo, ‘Come, night; come, Romeo; come, thou day in night’, makes him the night, a promise of freedom from pressure of family and social rule. All things are best in night as she believes with all her heart. Overall, Shakespeare highlighted contrasting themes of day and night, or darkness and light, evidenced by the language Juliet uses in her speech. 

The “star-crossed lovers” share the idea that night protects them, while the shine of day pressures to expose them. Often, however, we think of night as both a time for romance and freedom, as well as a time of danger. In Romeo and Juliet, the imagery of night carries both promises and its threats. Hidden in darkness, Romeo and Juliet’s love is free from the division of their families. But danger also creeps in the darkness, and the secrecy of their love cannot last forever.  

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