Act I Literary Term Examples

A Stage Direction is an instruction written into the script of a play, indicating stage actions, movements of performers, or production requirements.
An example of stage direction includes: [He bites his thumb]

A Soliloquy is an utterance or discourse by a person who is talking to himself or herself or is disregardful of or oblivious to any hearers present.
An example of a soliloquy is: when Romeo arrives to the Capulet party and sees Juliet.
“O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope'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 till this night.”

A Metaphor is a figure of speech in which a term or phrase is applied to something to which it is not literally applicable in order to suggest a resemblance.
An example of a metaphor is: When Lady Capulet is speaking to Juliet about marrying Paris. “Verona's summer hath not such a flower.”

An Oxymoron is a figure of speech by which a locution produces an incongruous, seemingly self-contradictory effect.
An example of an oxymoron is: When Romeo is speaking to Benvolio after he had been weeping over Rosaline.
“O heavy lightness! Serious vanity!
Mis-shapen 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?”

A Personification is the attribution of a personal nature or character to inanimate objects or abstract notions, especially as a rhetorical figure.
An example of personification is: When Benvolio is talking to Lady Montague while they are in the streets and he wants to fight the Capulets, “Madam, an hour before the worshipp'd sun Peer'd forth the golden window of the east, A troubled mind drave me to walk abroad;”

Act II Literary Term Examples:
Stage direction: [Enter Friar Lawrence alone with a basket]

Metaphor: “It is the east, and Juliet is the sun.”
“Juliet is the sun” is an example of a metaphor because it compares Juliet to the sun without the use of the words, like or as. This was included because this is how Romeo sees Juliet. She is as beautiful, as bright as the sun. It better displays Romeo’s love for Juliet which is a big part of the book.

Personification: "Arise, fair sun and kill the envious moon"
The “envious moon” is an example of a personification because the moon is envious, a human quality.

"The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse;

In half an hour she promised to return.

Perchance she cannot meet him: that's not so.

O, she is lame! love's heralds should be thoughts,

Which ten times faster glide than the sun's beams,

Driving back shadows over louring hills:

Therefore do nimble-pinion'd doves draw love,

And therefore hath the wind-swift Cupid wings.

Now is the sun upon the highmost hill

Of this day's journey, and from nine till twelve

Is three long hours, yet she is not come.

Had she affections and warm youthful blood,

She would be as swift in motion as a ball;

My words would bandy her to my sweet love,

And his to me:

But old folks, many feign as they were dead;

Unwieldy, slow, heavy and pale as lead.

O God, she comes!"


Foreshadowing: an element in a literary work that alludes to a future event
Example: Act 3, Scene 5, Lines 55-56
Juliet: Methinks I see thee, now thou art so low, as one dead in the bottom of a tomb.
In this line, Juliet tells Romeo that she imagined seeing him dead, resting in the bottom of a tomb, which foreshadows Romeo’s death. When Romeo dies, he indeed will be dead, lying in a tomb.
Foreshadowing is included to give an active reader an idea of what will come next in the literary work.


Example: Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 81-82
Juliet: Beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical, Dove-feathered raven, wolfish-ravening lamb!
Juliet, in this scene, is having conflicted emotions about Romeo- she just found out that he killed her cousin, but she still loves him because he’s her husband.
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses oxymorons to portray Romeo and Juliet as Petrarchan lovers. These oxymorons can show conflicting emotions in lovers who are receiving contradictory from their heads and hearts.

Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 1-4
Juliet: Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds, towards Phoebus’ lodging. Such a wagoner as Phaeton would whip you to the west and bring in cloudy night immediately
Juliet alludes to Phoebus and his ‘fiery-footed steeds’ when she’s complaining about wanting Romeo to come to her. Phoebus was a god of the sun, and his horses were acclaimed to have great speed. Phaeton was Phoebus’s son, and he was allowed to drive the chariot of the sun, but not control the horses. When Juliet calls to Phoebus and Phaeton, she’s calling for them to change the day into night so Romeo can come and be with her. This allusion was used to deepen the understanding of how much Juliet wants to be with Romeo.

external image YELL1105_4293_raven_snow_storm_600x400.jpg
Metaphor: “For thou wilt lie upon the wings of night whiter than new snow upon a raven’s back”
III.ii. 19-20
The metaphor in this quote is found in Romeo saying “wings of night” this implies that night is good because it can fly and flight is conceived as fun and good.

Personification: “O fortune, fortune, all men call thee fickle. If thou art fickle, what dost thou with him that is renowned for faith? Be fickle, fortune, for then I hope thou wilt not keep him long, but send him back.”

This quote personifies fortune by giving fortune the power to take and give Romeo as it pleases; just like a person. It also personifies fortune by giving it a large amount of power.

Soliloquy: Gallop apace, you fiery-footed steeds,Towards Phoebus' lodging: such a wagoner As Phaëthon would whip you to the west, And bring in cloudy night immediately. . . O, here comes my nurse, And she brings news; and every tongue that speaks But Romeo's name speaks heavenly eloquence.
A soliloquy is an act of speaking one's thoughts aloud when by oneself or regardless of any hearers, especially by a character in a play.
III.v. 1-33