Romeo and Juliet

Act 3 scene 5 of William Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet is a dramatic clash of different perspectives of love and individual freedom. How does Shakespeare use language and dramatic devices to bring out its full dramatic potential?

Romeo and Juliet is a play that deals with love and conflict. No matter how romantic or poetic the play is it still presents the drama of hatred as much as the drama of love. The different views on love and freedom differ sharply and much of the drama comes from the clash of opposing views. Act 3 scene 5 of William Shakespeare’s tragedy of Romeo and Juliet presents the protagonists’ undying love for each other. Lord Capulet’s violent decisions concerning Juliet’s freedom and the end to the Nurse’s role as a mother figure and a friend to Juliet.

Love in Act 3 scene 5 is shown in many ways. “It was the nightingale not the lark” This is an example of Juliet’s love for Romeo, as she is pleading with him not to go and that it is night time instead of daytime. However Romeo has to go because it is day and if a Capulet finds him he will be killed as he is banished. Therefore Juliet is in denial: she insists it is still night, symbolised by the nightingale, despite the fact it is now dawn, symbolised by the lark’s song. “It’s the nightingale not the lark” this light and dark imagery, as the lark is a sound that is heard in the morning and the nightingale is a sound that is heard at night. As light is usually associated with hope and positivity and dark is traditionally associated with evil, in this play light and dark imagery is shown in an opposite way to literary tradition. Romeo and Juliet want it to be dark and hear the nightingale as it means Romeo doesn’t have to go. Whereas they don’t want it to be light because as soon as they hear the lark, Romeo must flee if he wants to live. The sunlight therefore exposes their love to others, while the night conceals it and allows it to thrive. Thus, it is not only their families who clash...