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Shakespeares Use of Sonnets in Romeo and Juliet When discussing the great writers of the world one name that invariably appears is William Shakespeare Shakespeare will always be known as arguably the greatest playwright to have ever lived his writings always studied by classrooms of children around the world Of all Shakespeares plays and writings perhaps his best-known work is the tragic love story Romeo and Juliet Very few pieces of English literature have been reproduced parodied and modernized like Romeo and Juliet Despite the fact that many people have never actually read the play or seen it performed most could give a fairly accurate plot summary and almost every adult could tell you where the phrase A rose by any other name comes from Not only is Romeo and Juliet a moving and poignant love story it is also a perfect example of Shakespeares incredible skill with words and poetic form In the play Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare uses sonnets to provide key insights into the characters state of mind The most famous sonnet in Romeo and Juliet occurs in act 1 scene 4 when the young lovers meet for the first time Shakespeare very subtly melds the dialog of Romeo and Juliet into a perfect sonnet ROMEO To JULIET If I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine the gentle fine is this My lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss JULIET Good pilgrim you do wrong your hand too much Which mannerly devotion shows in this For saints have hands that pilgrims hands do touch And palm to palm is holy palmers kiss ROMEO Have not saints lips and holy palmers too JULIET Ay pilgrim lips that they must use
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