How have emotional voices in Romeo and Juliet and The Laboratory been effectively created by the writers
William Shakespeare uses creative linguistic devices and incorporates many relevant themes into his writing. Romeo and Juliet being one of Shakespeare’s most credited plays, uses the themes of love, hatred, conflict and anger. Shakespeare successfully portrays strong emotions in his play by the use of these themes and different poetic devices. Similarly Robert Browning conveys strong feeling such as hatred, betrayal and love in his poem ‘The Laboratory. In this essay I will be exploring and explaining the emotional voices that are expressed throughout both texts.
Love is one of the strongest emotions expressed in the play. Shakespeare first used light and dark imagery during the Capulet ball when Romeo meets Juliet for the first time. He describes her as a “snowy dove trooping with the crows”. The word “dove” suggests she is both beautiful and a figure of peace. Shakespeare represents strong feeling of love and how it is effectively presented through this quote. This is ironic because her family are the Montague’s enemy and the conflict before peace arrives between the two families.
The “crows” could represent the Capulet’s who are the Montague’s enemies. It can be said that Romeo uses the word “crows” to contrast Juliet to the other females; it is evident that he finds her to be one of the beautiful beings. In ‘The Laboratory’ the theme of love is also conveyed. In stanza 4 the persona shows interest in the poison that the scientist is making. The speaker reveals elements of love through rich colours “such gold oozing come/exquisite blue”. By using beautiful and harmless colours to describe the poison shows us to what extent she would go to get her partner back.
However, it can also mean that she is relating the deadly alcohol to exquisite harmless colours which shows that she is truly mad. Another type of Imagery that both writers use is religious imagery. “O speak again, bright angel! / a winged messenger of Heaven. ” The purity and true nature of Romeo’s love is reinforced with light and religious imagery, as he describes Juliet as being heavenly. This also creates the scene’s uplifting, emotional mood which reflects the good aspects of their love in the play, also highlighting its concept of hate by vivid contrast.
Romeo also refers to Juliet as a shrine that should be worshipped by his pilgrims or lips. ‘The holy shrine, the gentle sin is this, my lips two blushing pilgrims really stand’. So Shakespeare uses religious imagery to portray love. In contrast, Robert Browning uses religion to portray revenge. “To pray god in, I am here”. This shows irony as the persona has murderous consent, and she does not take religion seriously as she is planning to kill. Alliteration is often used throughout ‘The Laboratory’ and continues to vigour the language. It often helps to suggest the fierce, cold-hearted personality of the jealous women.
The words “moisten and mash up thy paste”/ “pound at thy powder – I am not in haste” informs us how the persona is eager and impatient as she is giving commands to the apothecary, this alliteration adds emphasise to the imperative statement. The use of rhyming quickens the pace of the poem, adding to the woman’s increasing excitement as the apothecary grinds up the mixture. The alliteration ‘Brand, burn up, bite’ helps us understand the speaker’s emotions as it makes the tone angry and bitter. The onomatopoeic words also link to pain and suffering as someone who has been cheated on.
Jealousy is also depicted in ‘The Laboratory’. He is with her, and they know that I know”. The protagonist in The Laboratory displays an intensity of emotion through her obvious jealousy of the other woman. It shows how crazy the protagonist’s nature has become, who goes so far as to poison her rival in love. This is because the speaker is faced with unrequited love. Similarly in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ Romeo experienced unrequited love with Rosaline. At this point Romeo is heartbroken, we know this as he says “O brawling love, O loving hate”. This use of oxymoron expresses extreme emotion for a woman he barely knows; this demonstrates immaturity, confusion and frustration.
The Laboratory is written in a dramatic monologue, this was very famous during the Victorian period and the Ancient Regime. The tone of the poem consists of anger and the mood is black. The purpose of the monologue and the soliloquy develops the persona’s emotions and deepening of the character. On the other hand ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is written in a dramatic dialogue. The speaker in ‘The laboratory’ uses repetition of ‘I’ which shows that she is egotistical and also shows that she only cares about herself and her feelings and doesn’t care who she has to hurt to be happy again.
It could also show that she feels lonely and isolated. Whereas in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ we can see that Romeo and Juliet are selfless in the case of love. Juliet displays fearlessness when reluctant to live without Romeo she kills herself. Similarly Romeo also takes the poison; this displays maturity and his persistent commitment to Juliet. They love each other so much that they take their own lives, because they cannot live without each other.
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