Romeo and Juliet Vocabulary

Juxtaposition Two or more things are placed side by side in a work of literature for the purpose of developing comparisons and contrasts.Example: In Act 2, Scene 2; Romeo comparing Juliet to the dark (light=Juliet, dark=night time)
Extended Metaphor A comparison between two unlike things that continues throughout a series of sentences in a paragraph or lines in a poem – it compares two essentially unlike things at some length and in several ways. It does not contain the words like or as. Example: In “The Seven Ages of Man” Shakespeare compares the world to a stage.This is also during Act 1, Scene 4; When the Nurse compares Paliet (Paris and Juliet) to a book, and how Juliet shall be the trophy wife (cover) and for all his respect and noblence she’s still as important as him
Chiasmus Repetition of ideas in inverted order. Example: “Act 1, Scene 1; Romeo: This love feel I, that feel no love in this”This is the X (love feel; feel love)
Puns A form of word play using similar-sounding words that suggests two or more meanings. This is usually done for a humorous effect.Example: Act 1, Scene 4; Romeo: With nimble soles. I have a soul of lead.Soles of lead vs. souls of lead.
Grave Mark The grave accent marks the stressed vowel of a word in Catalan and Italian. It’s intended to show you how to pronounce a word – not really used in English, but a big deal in other languages. It’s oftentimes used in poetry to mark the pronunciation of a usually silent vowel. Example: belovèd
Malapropism An incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, often humorous utterance – often done on purpose. Example: Act 2, Scene 4; Nurse: I desire some confidence with you. The nurse meant to say conference.
Anastrophe Inversion of the normal syntactic order of words – usually subject and verb order is inverted. Example: Act 1, Scene 1; And, Montague, come you this afternoon Notice the “come you”
Apostrophe When a person is speaking to an inanimate object or person who is not there. Example: Act 3, Scene 2; Juliet talking about Romeo: Come, gentle night; come, loving, black-brow’d night, Give me my Romeo; and, when I shall die,Take him and cut him out in little stars
Antithesis (Literally meaning opposite) Is when two opposite ideas are put together in a sentence to achieve a contrasting effect. It emphasizes the idea of contrast by using parallel structures of the contrasted phrases or clauses – the structures of phrases and clauses are similar in order to draw the attention of the listeners or readers. Example: Act 1, Scene 5; Juliet to the Nurse after finding out Romeo is a Montague: My only love sprung from my only hate!Too early seen unknown, and known too late!Prodigious birth of love it is to meThat I must love a loathèd enemy
Epithet A word or phrase used to describe someone. It provides us information about the person or thing to which it is being attached. Example: Shakespeare famously referred to Romeo and Juliet as “the star-crossed lovers”, or when Tybalt refers to the slaves as heartless hinds
Foil A foil is a character in a story who contrasts with the main character, usually to highlight one of his/her attributes. Example: Romeo: Serious, charming, sweet, sensitive; Mercutio: Light-hearted, not a romantic, dirty, raunchy, makes too many inappropriate jokes.
Repartee A swift, witty reply.Example: Act 1, Scene 1;Sampson: Me they shall feel while I am able to stand, and ’tis known I am a pretty piece of flesh.Gregory: ‘Tis well thou art not fish; if thou hadst, thou hadst been poor-john.Note: Look in book under “Tap to Translate” for translation.
Comic Relief (Bawdy Humor) A humorous scene, incident, character, or bit of dialogue occurring after some serious or tragic moment. Comic relief is deliberately designed to relieve emotional intensity and simultaneously heighten and highlight the seriousness or tragedy of the action.Example: Act 2, Scene 1; Mercutio is making a ton of dirty jokes towards Romeo to make him come outside
Dramatic Irony A literary technique, originally used in Greek tragedy, by which the full significance of a character’s words or actions are clear to the audience or reader although unknown to the character.Examples:•Two people are engaged to be married, but the audience knows that the man is planning to run away with another woman.•In a scary movie, the character walks into a house and the audience knows the killer is in the house.
Iambic Pentameter The rhythm in each line of iambic pentameter sounds like: ba-BUM / ba-BUM / ba-BUM / ba-BUM / ba-BUM. Usually 10 syllables long.Example: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand – Romeo and Juliet
Quatrain A type of stanza consisting of four lines.*Example: Act 1, Scene 5; Romeo to Juliet: If I profane with my unworthiest handThis holy shrine, the gentle sin is this:My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand.*To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.
Couplet A unit of verse consisting of two successive lines, usually rhyming and having the same meter and often forming a complete thought.*Example: Act 1, Scene 5; Now, by the stock and honor of my kin,To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.*
Heroic Couplet A couplet of rhyming iambic pentameter and often forming a distinct rhetorical as well as metrical unit – usually self-contained. *Example: Act 1, Scene 1; Lady Montague: O, where is Romeo? Saw you him today?Right glad I am he was not at this fray.*
Prose It is often used as an inclusive term for all discourse, spoken or written, which is not patterned into the lines and rhythms either of metric verse or of free verse. Do not confuse it with blank verse!
Blank Verse Unrhymed iambic pentameter.
Aside In drama, a few words or a short passage spoken by one character to the audience while the other actors on stage pretend their characters cannot hear the speaker’s words. It is a theatrical convention that the aside is not audible to other characters on stage. Contrast with soliloquy. The aside is usually indicated by stage directions.Example: Act 1, Scene 5; Romeo is talking about how beautiful Juliet is while dancing ensues. (No one hears).
Chorus The song or refrain that a group of singers sings alongside or off stage from the principal performers in a dramatic or musical performance.
Oxymoron A combination of words that have opposite or very different meanings. *Example: Act 3, Scene 2; Juliet: Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical!Dove-feathered raven, wolvish-ravening lamb!*
Paradox A statement whose two parts seem contradictory yet make sense with more thought. It attracts the reader’s or the listener’s attention and gives emphasis.Example: Despised substance of divinest show.
Monologue Refers to a character speaking aloud to himself, or narrating an account to an audience with no other character on stage.Example: Act 1, Scene 4: Mercutio doing the Queen Mab Speech.
Soliloquy A monologue spoken by an actor at a point in the play when the character believes himself to be alone. The technique frequently reveals a character’s innermost thoughts, including his feelings, state of mind, motives or intentions. The soliloquy often provides necessary but otherwise inaccessible information to the audience. The dramatic convention is that whatever a character says in a soliloquy to the audience must be true, or at least true in the eyes of the character speaking (i.e., the character may tell lies to mislead other characters in the play, but whatever he states in a soliloquy is a true reflection of what the speaker believes or feels).Example: Act 2, Scene 2; Romeo talking about Juliet’s beautiful qualities.