Imagery is the use of descriptive language to create an image in the minds of the readers. Shakespeare uses many kinds of images in his play. Here are 4 kinds of imagery we find frequently in Romeo and Juliet:
Metaphor: describing something by comparing it to something else without the use of “like” or “as”
e.g. “My love is a red, red rose” The speaker isn’t in love with a flower, but is comparing the beauty of his love to a red rose.
Simile: describing something by comparing it to something else using “like” or
“as” e.g. “My love is like a red, red rose” The speaker is saying his love is as beautiful as a red rose
Personification: giving some inanimate (not living) object human abilities and qualities
e.g. “The trees reached their arms toward the sky”
Oxymoron: using contrasting, contradictory ideas to describe something. We saw many examples of this when we first met Romeo in Act 1.
Classical allusion: a reference to a person, place or event from myth. Shakespeare uses both Greek and Roman mythological references.
e.g. references to being hit with Cupid’s arrow in Act 1