Contrast Between Language of Love in the Balcony Scene and the Language of Death in the Final Scene of Romeo and Juliet
In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare introduces many themes that he continues throughout all of his tragedies, including the language of love vs. the language of death. The balcony scene is the most valuable scene illustrating the language of love, whereas in the final scene of the play the language of death is used to set the stage for their suicides, pulling together the tragic ending of the play.
Throughout the second scene of Act II, Romeo uses beautiful metaphors and similes to express his affection for Juliet:
O, speak again bright angel, for thou art
As glorious to this night, being o’er my head
As is a winged messenger of heaven.(Rom. II. II, 28-30.)
This passage is used to compare Juliet to an angel, somethign that is universally held as sacred and lovely. Elsewhere in the scene there are lines that describe their love for one another, and add to the romantic theme of the scene:
And but thou love me, let them find me here.
My life better ended by their hate
The death prorogued, wanting
of thy love.(Rom. II. II, 76-78.)
In the final scene of the play, there is much talk of death by Romeo, Friar Laurence, and Juliet. Romeo announces his own demise in his soliloquy:
Depart again. Here, here I will remain
With worms and chambermaids. O, here
Will I set my everlasting rest
And shake the yoke of inauspicious stars
From this world-wearied
flesh. Eyes, look your last!
Arms, take your last embrace! And, lips,
The doors of breath to engrossing death!(Rom. V. III, 108-114.)
The Friar’s Frantic wrods and actions in conflict to his previous calm stature illustrate the grim mood of the scene: Stay not to question, for the watch is coming.
Come, go good Juliet. I dare no longer stay.(Rom. V. III, 158-9.)
Both the language of love and the language og death play important roles in the tragedy. They cooperate with light and dark imagery to make the play the masterpiece it is, a play of paradoxes and oxymorons, good and evil, neither one whole without the other. For without love there would be nothing to lose, and without death there would be no way to lose it.