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Analysis

Sometimes, there’s more to Lit than meets the eye.

Thumb Biting

Unless you're fluent in childish Elizabethan gestures (anyone? Bueller?), you might be wondering what the what Sampson's up to when he spots the Montague's servants on the streets and announces, "I...

Sex and Death

Sex and death: pretty much the opposite of each other, right? Not in Romeo and Juliet. In fact, Romeo and Juliet sees to think sex and death go together like, uh, Oreos and milk. In the very first...

Oxymoron and Paradox

If you like jumbo shrimp or boneless ribs, then you and Shakespeare have something in common: you both like oxymora. An oxymoron is a Greek expression that refers to the combination of two terms th...

Plants and Poison

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger—unless it puts you into a near-death state that fools your husband. The point is, poison (and medicine) are a big deal in Romeo and Juliet. Like love and...

Queen Mab

First things first: if you haven't already, go back and read Mercutio's Queen Mab speech in Act I, Scene 4. (Or give yourself a little treat, and watch this version from Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 ve...

Light in Darkness

Like a candle in the darkness, the imagery of light in dark comes up a lot in Romeo and Juliet. "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright," Romeo says when he first sees Juliet. "It seems she h...

Night

Night is a pretty important time in the play. It's when all the passionate love scenes occur so, night seems to shelter and protects the lovers, while the glare of day threatens to reveal them. In...

Love

Say what you will about Baz Luhrmann (uh, vulgar and flashy), he gets it: during Romeo and Juliet's first love scene, he dunks Claire Danes and Leonardo DiCaprio in a swimming pool. So what? Check...

Death

Both lovers have intimations of coming death—Romeo before he even arrives at the Capulet's party, and Juliet when she sees Romeo climbing from her window on his way to exile in Mantua. "Oh god, I...
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