Examples of light/dark imagery in Act 1, explanation of their significance, links to outside resources, images to enhance explanation

Act 1:
Dark Imagery:
"Montague: Adding to clouds more clouds with his deep sighs. But all so soon as the all-cheering sun should in the farthest east begin to draw the shady curtains from Aurora's bed, away from the light steals home my heavy son and private his chamber pens himself, shuts up his windows, locks fair daylight out, and makes himself an artificial night." (I.i 136-143)

Explanation: Romeo avoids the sun by coming out only at night, and during the day he locks himself in his room, shuts his windows, and closes the curtains to make his own night. By doing this he is avoiding the light and staying with the dark. He's choosing to stay with the bad things.

Light Imagery: "Romeo: O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright! It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night as a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear. So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows as yonder lady o'er her fellows shows. The measure done, I'll watch her place of stand and, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand. Did my heart love till now? Forswear it, sight, for I ne'er saw true beauty this night." (I.v. 51-60)


Act 2:
The meanings of light and dark change in the eyes of Romeo and Juliet during act two. Light starts out as being described as good when Romeo talks about "the brightness of her [Juliet] cheek" and he says "Juliet is the sun." He also tells Juliet to "speak again bright angel" and even though it has sacrilege which is considered bad in those times, light is still seen as good here. This is how most of society views it. Society also views dark as a bad thing which is the case with Romeo and Juliet in the beginning. Juliet describes Romeo as "thus bescreened in night." She can't she him so dark is viewed as a bad thing. These views later change to basically the opposites soon after. Romeo says that "the mask of night is on my face" meaning that it is helping by hiding him. Romeo also describes it as "O blessed, blessed night!" which goes against society.