Romeo and Juliet

Throughout Act II, Shakespeare foreshadows what will happen to Romeo and Juliet, helping to increase suspense. Describe two examples of foreshadowing, providing specific details from the play.


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One foreshadowing comes through the young lovers' quick and impulsive decisions about their future. In the balcony scene, for example, they move from "Hi, it's nice to know you" to "Let's get married tomorrow." This speaks to their rash decisionmaking quality, which ultimately foreshadows, for example, the fight between Romeo and Tybalt. Another foreshadowing would be the fact that the balcony scene takes place "in secret." The fact that they have to keep this relationship a secret foreshadows all of the lies and "trickery" that they must resort to just to keep their relationship alive. It means simply, for example, when Juliet is told she must marry Paris, she cannot tell the truth, but she also cannot marry him which makes her agree to fake her own death.

Sweet, so would I: "Yet I should kill thee with much cherishing." Good night, good night! Parting is such sweet sorrow.

Yes, Juliet's sweet talking has a hint of the tragedy that is to become.

Alas, poor Romeo, he is already dead! stabbed with a white wench's black eye: "shot through the ear with a love song; the very cleft of his heart cleft with the blind bow-boy's butt-shaft."

This is Mercutio's rather sarcastic comment about Romeo being killed by love. Turns out to be rather prophetic, doesn't it?