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The Use of Comparisons in Friar Laurence’s Soliloquy

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Levian Stewart

Mr. Gates

English I

1 September 2017

The Use of Comparisons in Friar Laurence’s Soliloquy

         In William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, Friar Laurence delivers a soliloquy in his garden about the power of nature. Throughout the soliloquy, Friar Laurence contrasts night and day, life and death, and good and evil. Friar Laurence discusses the idea that everything in nature has the potential for both good and evil.

        Friar Laurence begins his discourse by comparing the night to the day when he says, “The grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night, / Checkering the eastern clouds with streaks of light”. The smiling morning symbolizes good, and the frowning night symbolizes evil. The smiling morning has the potential to become the frowning night just as the frowning night has the potential to become the smiling morning.

        Friar Laurence continues his explanation by turning now to the issue of life and death when he says, “The earth that’s natures mother is her tomb”. The earth that’s nature mother symbolizes life and her tomb symbolizes death. The earth that’s nature mother has a potential to becoming the tomb just as the tomb has a potential of becoming the earth that’s nature mother.

        As Friar Laurence brings his speech to a close by moving to the issue of good vs. evil when he says, “For nought so vile that on earth doth live, / But to the earth some special good doth give”. The first part, For nought so vile that on earth doth live symbolizes evil and the second part, But to the earth some special good doth give symbolizes good. The good has a potential of becoming the evil just as the evil has a potential of becoming good.

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