ROMEO AND JULIET - ACT 2 SCENE 2 EXTRACT
Juliet seems to be delighted to see Romeo again in this extract, but also cautious regarding his intentions.
Shakespeare shows Juliet rejecting Romeo’s courtly lover tendencies, and instructing him not to ‘swear by the moon, the inconstant moon’ as of course, the moon comes and goes, which is not the reassurance she was hoping for from her lover.
The audience learns Juliet is wanting Romeo to speak plainly and offer reassurance not based on intangible symbols but on himself ‘the God of her idolatry’. The metaphor Shakespeare uses here in Juliet’s dialogue emphasises how she almost worships him already, indicating the way, like Romeo, she is also almost obsessively falling in love.
There is concern in her lines ‘It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden, too like the lightning’ with the anaphora indicating how she is almost self-regulating herself and trying to keep her emotions in check, despite it being difficult. The simile ‘like lightning’ further emphasises the speed with which the relationship is seemingly developing. The phrase ‘this bud of love’ portrays how Juliet is self-aware and wise, and this metaphor indicates how she sees their relationship as one in its early stages, and one that must be nurtured like a flower.
Concern over whether his intentions are sexual are presented in her rhetorical question ‘What satisfaction canst thou have tonight?’ but she showers him with declarations of genuine love and adoration as soon as he confirms his intentions are honourable and he just wants his love to be requited. She announces ‘My bounty is as boundless as the sea’ indicating what she would offer to him as his wife would know no boundaries, whilst she describes her ‘love as deep.. and both are infinite’ with the hyperbolic language Shakespeare employs further presenting to the audience a sense of how she is intensely excited by the prospect of a relationship with Romeo and prepared to do anything for him.