How does Shakespeare use images of the light and darkness in Romeo and Juliet? How is it tied to the theme of love and hate?
In William Shakespeare’s tragedy Romeo and Juliet, the theme of light and darkness play an important role throughout the entire play. Light and darkness are used metaphorically to represent the human condition, and all aspects of love and hate. In Romeo and Juliet, the symbols, light and dark show the two strong forces that pull the young lovers together while also pushing them apart.
Romeo compares his lover, Juliet, to light throughout the play, which can represent love. Often Romeo will use light as a way for him to compare Juliet’s beauty to the brightness of the sun. When Romeo first lays eyes on Juliet he says, "the torches to burn bright" (I.5.43). He also describes her as, "the sun" that can "kill the envious moon" (II.2.3). As a way to describe Juliet’s eyes, Romeo says "two of the fairest stars in all the heaven" (II.2.15). Juliet will also compare Romeo to light throughout the play. She will show in different ways that he is her light that illuminates the darkness. Although light can represent love and beauty, it is not always good in the two lovers interest. The day can metaphorically work against them and we find that it pushes Romeo and Juliet apart.
We often connect darkness to being a form of evil, but for Romeo and Juliet that could be the complete opposite. The love that they share can only be shared at night. The feud that is brewing between the Montague’s and Capulet’s is the main reason why Romeo and Juliet cannot be together. In addition, Juliet’s parents already have their mind set on her marrying Pairs. If either of their parents ever found out, they would never be able to see each other again. That is the reason why they must keep their love affair a secret; there could be life-threating consequences for each of them. All of the encounters are secretive and are taken place in the darkness, where which...