Paradoxes in Romeo & Juliet

Reply Mon 16 May, 2005 10:50 am
I have an exam and it is to write about 3 paradoxes in Romeo & Juliet, and I am having a hard time figuring out what 3 are... if anyone can help me that would be awesome!
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Reply Mon 16 May, 2005 07:31 pm
Hi, Katy and welcome to A2K. Are you, perhaps, talking about oxymorons?
Reply Tue 17 May, 2005 07:07 pm
Well my teacher said Paradoxes...which she explained was somewhat like and oxymoron....but I am just supposed to find 3 examples...one that she gave us was how Romeo and Juliet are alike but Juliet and her Nurse are not and Romeo and Marcutio are not... So basically that their main bestfriend kinda character is opposite of them and like eachother....im not sure if that helps? but my exam is in 2 days so anything would help at this point!!
Reply Tue 17 May, 2005 07:34 pm
OK, honey. I'll give it my best shot to help you. A little late tonight for me.

In the meantime, make certain you understand the characters, ok?
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Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 05:55 am
Well, K.F. Here is what I would examine:

First, You can tell how Shakespeare views his characters by the language that they speak. The nurse's dialogue is always in prose which denotes her lower station in life. Juliet, lines, on the other hand, are often delightful poetry, ranging from erotic couplets to apostrophes. The nurse offers a practical solution to Juliet's plight concerning her father's arranged marriage to the County Paris, while Juliet has no intention of betraying her husband, Romeo. Therein lies the paradox of the nurse and Juliet.

Romeo and Juliet are alike in the respect that they both are of noble birth, but different in the way that they handle a crisis.

Although Mercutio and Romeo are close friends, the former is a character who lives life to it's fullest with abandon and recklessness, while Romeo is a bit more immature and cautious. How tragic that Romeo should be the cause of Mercutio's death.

Remember, my young friend, that a paradox simply implies an irony of a situation. For example, the idea of a march for peace, often ends in violence.

I hope this helps you to look at the lessons taught by love; the effect of love on hostility, and the influence of fate (star-crossed)
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Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 05:56 am
A paradox . . . would that be, like, an internist and a pediatrician in company?
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Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 05:59 am
Pay no attention to that dog with the coke, K.F. he really means pair-a-dice. Heh! heh!
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Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 03:18 pm
Thank you so much for your help! Hopefully I wont fail my exam tomorrow!! haha!
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Reply Wed 18 May, 2005 03:45 pm
Good luck, honey. We're in your corner, and let us know how you do, ok?
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Reply Thu 19 May, 2005 01:12 am
Romeo and Juliet are alike but Juliet and her Nurse are not and Romeo and Marcutio are not...

But that's not a paradox, surely? That's just a contrast. The definition of paradox is "a statement that seems self-contradictory and absurd, even though it may be true". There's nothing self-contradictory or absurd about two people not being alike, even two good friends not being alike. If that's your teacher's best example, then either she wasn't explaining herself very well or she doesn't know what it means herself!
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Reply Thu 19 May, 2005 06:09 am
syntinen, I agree with you, but you know some teachers Rolling Eyes

Let's hope our young student does well.
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Reply Tue 7 Jun, 2005 08:01 pm
Well lol I have some bad news...I only got 14 out of 20 on my exam essay... BUT lol sadly it was one of the highest marks! and yes I agree my teacher is dumb and probably on crack...because she does talk about doing that a lot..and I thought I wrote a great essay but oh well at least I passed the course! Thanks for all your help!
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Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2009 04:55 pm
I'd like to help, although late, just in case you have not gotten it yet. A paradox is like an oxymoron, but if analyzed can have a great deal of meaning between behind it.

Such as when Juliet speaks this after hearing that the love of her life Romeo has slain her cousin Tybalt.
O serpent heart, hid with a flowering face!
Did ever dragon keep so fair a cave?
Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!
Dove-feather'd raven! wolvish-ravening lamb!
Despised substance of divinest show!
Just opposite to what thou justly seem'st,
A damned saint, an honourable villain!
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell,
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In moral paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound? O that deceit should dwell
In such a gorgeous palace! (III.2)

See how everything contradicts itself, yet is true on both sides.

They are described as "a pair of star-cross'd lovers [who] take their life" (I.1)
She loves Romeo beyond anything comprehensible, yet she is forced to feel something against him due to the blood shed of a kinsman.

So a paradox is contradictory, but a phrase with a meaning behind it.
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Reply Tue 5 Apr, 2011 02:42 pm
if two main characters are opposite, they are called "foils" of each other (not paradoxes. when you're teacher said that romeo and mercutio being opposite is a paradox, she was wrong). the purpose of a foil is to contrast each other and over-emphasize a certain trait of the person they're foiling, whereas a paradox is meant to reveal a truth about something, usually in an absurd and akward way. although pretty late, a few good examples of paradoxes would be:
1.5.134-135 Juliet: If he be married, My grave is like to be my wedding bed.
3.2.130-136 Juliet: But I, a maid, die maiden-widowed...I'll to my wedding-bed, and death, not Romeo, take my maidenhead!
3.5.199-200 Juliet: Or if you do not, make the bridal bed in that dim monument where Tybalt lies"
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Reply Sun 17 Apr, 2011 06:07 am
Do you KNOW what paradoxes are?
Tension Reliever
Reply Tue 3 Apr, 2012 10:52 pm
A statement that seems contradictory but actually may be true. Because a paradox is surprising, it catches the reader's attention. Examples: This is the beginning of the end.and. We're born dying
Reply Fri 24 Mar, 2017 10:23 am
@Tension Reliever,
I teach 9th grade English, and we are actually in the middle of "Romeo and Juliet." I am afraid that you are confused as to what a paradox truly is--and it can be confusing! A paradox seems unrealistic (even impossible), but there is actually an element of truth to it. Like an oxymoron, there is contradiction. For example, Juliet says, "My only love , sprung from my only hate!" (I, v, 147). This is a paradox because it seems totally impossible, right? How can you love and hate a person at the same time? How can you be enemies and lovers? It is unlikely, but it is true! Literally, Romeo is a Montague--an enemy of the Capulets. However, she loves him. Upon closer examinination, a paradox holds an element of truth. Are love and hate not powerful, consuming emotions? Shakespeare uses paradoxes in R&J to point out truths about the human condition. We, as humans, are capable of good and bad, etc.
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Reply Mon 2 Oct, 2017 10:42 pm
No one of you knows what a paradox is. You have been writing pure truthful lies.
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