Literary Devices in Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet is a mandatory part of a 9th graders English Curriculum, meaning 4 million students will read and evaluate one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays each year. Romeo and Juliet is required in schools across America and even Canada so students can learn Old English while reading a beautiful story where challenging literary devices are used. William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet uses metaphors, symbolism, and dramatic irony to create more meaning in this play, initially generating a more poignant story for readers throughout America.

Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet uses metaphors to compare unlike things, causing great thought and analysis throughout his work. An example of a metaphor used in Romeo and Juliet is “As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee,” (Shakespeare 1.1.72). Tybalt is comparing hell to all of the people with the name Montague, especially Benvolio, saying how he hates them all as much as he hates hell. Another use of metaphors in Romeo and Juliet is when Romeo says “It is the East, and Juliet is the sun,” (Shakespeare 2.2.3). Here Romeo is calling Juliet the sun, saying how bright and glorious she is in his eyes. Metaphors are just one of several literary devices used in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare uses sybolism as a way of expressing more than what is being said by the characters, causing readers to stop and think about his words.

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An example of symbolism used in the text of Romeo and Juliet is “Where underneath the grove of a sycamore,” (Shakespeare 1.1.123). The tree in the forest symbolizes isolation in this scene.

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