Romeo's Obsessive Admiration

Romeo’s Dream

      When Rome sees Juliet for the first time, he is struck by her beauty and claims that he “ne’er saw a true beauty till this night” (920). He immediately forgets about his old love, Rosaline, and his depressed state of mind for her.   He is thoroughly captivated by Juliet’s radiance and the newfound love he feels towards her. This change in Romeo’s state of mind from a melancholy boy to one awestruck by love and admiration is seen in Romeo’s monologue full of metaphors proclaiming Juliet’s beauty as the brightest of all lights. Before this moment, he had a “soul of lead,” but now, as seen through the extent of his literacy in his monologue, he is revived by his love and desire for Juliet (916).
      Romeo’s monologue, written skillfully in iambic pentameter format, serves mainly to depict Juliet’s humanly impossible beauty.   “O, She doth teach the torches to burn bright!” (919). Is the first sentence Romeo utters. Here, Romeo uses a metaphor to compare Juliet’s beauty to the light from torches. He implies that she is brighter than the light emitted from the torches. We know this is a metaphor for a human cannot realistically emit light the same way a torch can. According to him, she is so much brighter than the torches, that she teaches them how to shine. In other words, the torches should be ashamed of their dimness for her beauty outshines them all. He goes on to proclaim that “her beauty hangs upon the cheek of night” (919). This is also literally impossible for the night has no cheek. With this metaphor, Romeo is asking the read to visualize how a bright jewel would look against a dark surface. These metaphors work together to exaggerate Juliet’s radiant beauty, giving the reader a sense of Romeo’s amazed and excited state of mind.
      An aura of romantic fervor is created when the passage is read. The metaphor gives the passage an unrealistic, fantasy world feel. One imagines bright torches, dark nights, and shining jewels as he or she...