Romeo and Juliet

by

William Shakespeare

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Romeo and Juliet: Hyperbole 1 key example

Read our modern English translation.
Definition of Hyperbole
Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which a writer or speaker exaggerates for the sake of emphasis. Hyperbolic statements are usually quite obvious exaggerations intended to emphasize a point... read full definition
Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which a writer or speaker exaggerates for the sake of emphasis. Hyperbolic statements are usually quite obvious exaggerations... read full definition
Hyperbole is a figure of speech in which a writer or speaker exaggerates for the sake of emphasis. Hyperbolic statements... read full definition
Act 2, Scene 2
Explanation and Analysis—Juliet's Boundless Love:

In Act 2, Scene 2, Juliet professes her love for Romeo through hyperbole and simile, comparing her "bounty"—her burgeoning feelings for Romeo—to the limitless "sea":

My bounty is as boundless as the sea,
My love as deep. The more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

Juliet, like Romeo, is consumed by her own sudden passion. Though both of the young lovers will experience flashes of foresight and wariness about the dangerous relationship into which they have plunged, they are often too excited to rationally consider the potential consequences of their romance. Thus, Juliet's hyperbolic simile, which likens her infatuation with Romeo—as well as their mutual love—to the "deep," "boundless" sea, clearly demonstrates her excited state of mind. It's clear that she thinks their love is larger than life, too big to be ignored—an important detail, considering that they end up making such huge sacrifices in the name of their relationship. Previously in the scene, she has acted more coy about sharing her feelings with Romeo, as young women of the era were expected to behave in the company of men. But with Romeo's encouragement, she gives herself over to effusive language and cements their love with a dramatic, vivid image: that of the "infinite" sea.