Q:

What was the classical allusion in Romeo and Juliet?

A:

Two classical allusions are found in Act I, Scene 1 of "Romeo and Juliet," when Romeo talks about his love. He states that she will "...not be hit With Cupid’s arrow. She hath Dian’s wit." This references the Greek myth of Cupid, who caused people to fall in love by firing his weapons at them. Romeo also favorably compares his beloved's cleverness to Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt.

In addition, Scene I, Act 1 contains a classical allusion to Aurora, the Roman goddess of the dawn. Romeo's mother worries that her son avoids daytime, staying out all night and not coming home until first light: "...as the all-cheering sun/ Should in the farthest east begin to draw/ The shady curtains from Aurora’s bed,/ Away from light steals home my heavy son."

Another classical allusion occurs in Act II, Scene 2, when Juliet tells Romeo that she longs to hear his name spoken over and over, but she must hide their love from her family: "Else would I tear the cave where Echo lies,/ And make her airy tongue more hoarse than mine,/ With repetition of 'My Romeo!'" This is a reference to Echo, a nymph from Greek mythology who was cursed to forever repeat the words of others. Juliet wishes for Echo to copy her, saying Romeo's name until they are unable to continue.


Is this answer helpful?

Similar Questions

  • Q:

    What foods did Romeo and Juliet eat?

    A:

    William Shakespeare's play, "Romeo and Juliet," mentions in Act 4, Scene 4, "They call for dates and quinces in the pastry." This is the only specific mention of food in the play resembling the typical diet of upper class Italians in the 16th century.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are some examples of juxtaposition in "Romeo and Juliet"?

    A:

    Several examples of juxtaposition in "Romeo and Juliet" have to do with light contrasted with dark, as in Romeo's description of Juliet in Act I, Scene 5: "It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night/ Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope's ear." He goes on to say of her, "So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows/ As yonder lady o'er her fellows shows."

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why is "Romeo and Juliet" still relevant?

    A:

    William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet" is still relevant in 2014 because people still suffer from forbidden, doomed or unrequited love and recognize the story as universal. Because the play captures the rashness that comes with young love, it makes audiences think about whether young love is all that different from love between older adults.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What does Romeo mean when he says "I defy you stars"?

    A:

    In William Shakespeare's play "Romeo and Juliet," Romeo says "I defy you stars!" after seeing Juliet dead in the tomb. He is saying that he is going to defy fate, sometimes referred to as "the stars," for trying to keep them apart by killing himself to be with her.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore