Romeo and Juliet terms and examples

foreshadowing when a writer gives the audience a hint about what is to come
foreshadowing “Life were better ended by their hate,Than death prorogued, wanting of thy love”
metaphor a figure of speech that makes a hidden comparison between two things
metaphor “Come, civil nightThou sober suited matron, all in black.”
simile “The brightness of her cheek would shame those starsAs daylight doth a lamp…”
simile a comparison between two things usually involving the words like or as
personification a figure of things in which a thing, idea, or animal is given human attributes
personification “When well-appareled April on the heelOf limping winter treads.”
allusion a brief and indirect reference to a person, place, thing or idea of historical, cultural, literary or political significance.
allusion “Well, in that hit you miss. She’ll not be hit with Cupid’s arrow…From Love’s week childish bow she lives unharmed”
parenthesis an interjection in a phrase
parenthesis “‘Tis since the earthquake now eleven years;And she was wean’d- I never shall forget it-“
alliteration a number of words, having the same first consonant sound, occur close together in a series.
alliteration “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes;A pair of star-cross’d lovers take their life.”
assonance when two or more words close to one another repeat the same vowel sound but start with different consonant sounds.
assonance “When he bestrides the lazy-pacing cloud”
epistrophe the repetition of a word at the end of successive clauses or sentences.
epistrophe “Fie, fie, thou shamest thy shape, thy love, thy wit…Which should bedeck thy shape, thy love, thy wit.”
understatement the presentation of something as being smaller, worse, or less important than it actually is.
understatement “Ay, ay, a scratch, a scratch; marry, ’tis enough. Where is my page? Go, villain, fetch a surgeon.”
hyperbole a figure of speech, which involves an exaggeration of ideas for the sake of emphasis.
hyperbole “I will not fail. Tis twenty year till then”
hyperbaton a rhetorical device in which the writers play with the normal position of words, phrases and clauses in order to create differently arranged sentences, but which still suggest a similar meaning
hyperbaton “And all my fortunes at thy foot I’ll lay,And follow thee my lord throughout the world.”
antithesis a rhetorical device in which two opposite ideas are put together in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect.
antithesis “More light and light, more dark and dark our woes!”
paradox a statement that appears to be self-contradictory or silly but may include a latent truth
paradox “The earth that’s nature’s mother is her tomb;What is her burying grave, that is Rainbow in her womb;”
oxymoron a figure of speech in which two opposite ideas are joined to create an effect.
oxymoron “Why, then, O brawling love! O loving hate!O anything, of nothing first create!O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!Misshapen chaos of well-seeming forms!Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health!Still-waking sleep, that is not what it is!This love feel I, that feel no love in this.Dost thou not laugh?”
pun a play on words in which a humorous effect is produced by using a word that suggests two or more meanings or by exploiting similar sounding words having different meanings.
pun “Not I, believe me. You have dancing shoes with nimble soles; I have a soul of lead”
climax the building of words
climax “O, bid me leap, rather than marry Paris; From off the battlements of yonder tower;Or walk in thievish ways;or bid me lurkWhere serpents are; chain me with roaring bears…”
hypophora a figure of speech in which a writer raises a question and then immediately provides an answer to that question.
hypophora “O Romeo, Romeo! Where for art thou Romeo?Deny thy father and refuse thy name;Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,And I’ll no longer be Capulet”