10th March 2017

Metaphors in Romeo and Juliet

How does Shakespeare use metaphors to show Romeos inner thoughts in Act 1, Scene 4 of Romeo and Juliet?

Shakespeare uses many metaphors in Romeo and Juliet to show thoughts of the characters.  In Act 1, Scene 4, Romeo remembers having a dream that at the party it might steer him down a terrible path with the cost of his “untimely death”  In this scene romeo says ”He that hath steerage of my course, direct my sail. The metaphor used here is referring to a boat.  When Shakespeare puts “He” in the text it has a capital letter and it is him referring to God. Romeo pretty much says that God has decided his fate.

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  1. This is a good attempt at exploring Shakespeare’s use of metaphor to explain the action of fate. There’s a couple of things to look into.

    1) I think that Romeo is not so much saying ‘take me now’ (even though he senses some bad outcome in the future) as saying “I surrender to the plans (or “course”) that God has pre-decided. It’s a reference to the paradox of fate vs free will that we’ll come back to over and over again in class.

    2) Your use of capitals is a little inconsistent. Remember, always for names and other proper nouns and to start sentences, but not for other reasons (like “terrible”)

    3) It’s not the simple use of “he” that makes us think Shakespeare means God, it’s the fact that Shakespeare capitalises the pronoun “He”, which we only do in relation to God (things like this are why capitals are so important)

    CW

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