Romeo and Juliet

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Light/Dark and Day/Night Symbol Analysis

Light/Dark and Day/Night Symbol Icon
Romeo and Juliet is filled with imagery of light and dark. But while light is traditionally connected with "good" and dark with "evil," in Romeo and Juliet the relationship is more complex. Romeo and Juliet constantly see each other as forms of light. In the balcony scene, Romeo describes Juliet as the sun, while Juliet describes Romeo as stars. But the relationship between light and dark is complicated by the lover's need for the privacy of darkness in order to be together. As Romeo says when the sun dawns on the morning when he is to be banished from Verona, "More light and light, more dark and dark our woes!" So while Romeo and Juliet see each other as light, in order for their light to shine brightly it needs the contrast of darkness, of night, to make it powerful.
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Light/Dark and Day/Night Symbol Timeline in Romeo and Juliet

The timeline below shows where the symbol Light/Dark and Day/Night appears in Romeo and Juliet. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, scene 1
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...Montague says she's glad that Romeo, her son, wasn't involved. Benvolio says that just before dawn he saw Romeo looking melancholy in a grove of sycamore trees. None of them know... (full context)
Act 1, scene 5
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...who she is, but immediately forgets Rosaline. He says that Juliet teaches the "torches to burn bright !"(1.5.41). At the same time, Tybalt recognizes Romeo and prepares to attack this party-crashing Montague. (full context)
Act 2, scene 2
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...sees Juliet walk out onto a balcony. In a whisper he compares her to the sun, and hides beneath her balcony. (full context)
Act 3, scene 2
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Juliet begs nightfall to hurry in its coming, and to bring Romeo with it. She imagines that when... (full context)
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Juliet tells the Nurse to find Romeo and bid him come that night to her room so that they can consummate their marriage. The Nurse knows Romeo is... (full context)
Act 3, scene 3
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The Friar tells Romeo to go spend the night with Juliet and then before dawn to flee Verona for Mantua. There he should wait... (full context)
Act 3, scene 4
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It is just before dawn. Capulet, Lady Capulet, and Paris have stayed up late, discussing Juliet and the tragedy of... (full context)
Act 3, scene 5
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The call of a bird wakes Romeo and Juliet just before dawn, but Juliet claims the bird is a nightingale rather than the lark greeting the day.... (full context)
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Juliet stops pretending. She says it's day and Romeo must go. (full context)
Act 4, scene 1
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...will appear as if she has died. He tells her to agree to marry Paris Thursday, but to take the potion Wednesday night. Instead of a wedding, the Capulets will hold... (full context)