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Irony

Irony (i'-ron-ee) is the use of words to convey the opposite of their literal meaning. “Prodigious birth of love it is to me / That I must love a loathèd enemy.” Romeo and Juliet, 1.5.152

Irony is an example of:
Comparison, Substitution

Unhappy Fortune! The Plague in the Plays

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Shakespeare killed scores of his characters — by sword, by dagger, by poison, by flame, by drowning, by hanging, by murder, by suicide, by accident — men, women, children, all ages, killed by many means, even by a bear. But the deaths of only two of his central characters can be attributed to the plague, and even then, only by proximate cause, not directly by the plague.
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Sonnets in Romeo and Juliet

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Shakespeare, who had begun writing his sonnets sometime in the 1590’s, decided that the form would be useful in Romeo and Juliet. In fact, he wrote four sonnets in the play. The first, spoken by a chorus, opens Act 1. The second appears in Act 1, Scene 5, and it is dialogue spoken by Romeo and Juliet.
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Tempter or Tempted?

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In Measure for Measure (2.2.197), Angelo confronts, possibly for the first time in his life, the temptation of lust. And since this is new to him and because he is highly moralistic, he is troubled and confused. He reacts by asking himself a series of questions for which he has no answers.

What’s this? What’s this? Is this her fault,
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If I profane with my unworthiest hand

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Romeo
If I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrineMetaphor, the gentle sinOxymoron is this,
My lips, two blushing pilgrimsMetaphor, ready stand
To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.

My lips, two blushing pilgrimsMetaphor,
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Source:
Act 1
Scene 5
Line 104

Source Type:
,

Spoken by:
,

Themes:
, , ,

Figures of Speech:
, , , , ,

Connected Notes:
Sonnets in Romeo and Juliet, Caves, Temples & Palaces

My only love sprung from my only hate!

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My only love sprung from my only hate!Paradox
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!Epanalepsis
Prodigious birth of love it is to me
That I must love a loathèd enemy.Irony

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Source:
Act 1
Scene 5
Line 152

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:

Figures of Speech:
, ,

Never fear that

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Never fear that. If he be so resolv’d,
I can o’ersway him; for he loves to hear
That unicorns may be betray’d with trees,
And bears with glasses, elephants with holes,
Lions with toils, and men with flatterers;Ellipses

But when I tell him he hates flatterers
He says he does, being then most flattered.

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Source:
Act 2
Scene 1
Line 219

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:
,

Figures of Speech:
,

Connected Notes:
The Snare of Vanity

At what hour tomorrow Shall I attend your Lordship?

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Isabella
At what hour tomorrow
Shall I attend your Lordship?
Angelo
At any time ‘fore noon.
Isabella

‘Save your honor!

Exeunt Isabella, Lucio, and Provost.

Angelo
From thee: even from thy virtue.Irony
What’s this? What’s this? Is this her fault,
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Sir, his wife some two months since fled

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First Lord
Sir, his wife some two months since fled
from his house. Her pretense is a pilgrimage to
Saint Jaques le Grand, which holy undertaking
with most austere sanctimony she accomplished.
And, there residing, the tenderness of her nature
became as a prey to her grief; in fine, made a groan
of her last breath,
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Source:
Act 4
Scene 3
Line 49

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Figures of Speech:
, ,

I have deceived even your very eyes

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I have deceived even your very eyes. What your wisdoms could not discover, these shallow fools have brought to light.Irony
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Source:
Act 5
Scene 1
Line 242

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Themes:
, , ,

Figures of Speech:

Connected Notes:
Appearance and Deception