Imagery and Spectacle

  • Leah Scragg
Part of the Contemporary Interpretations of Shakespeare book series (CIS)


As the previous chapter has attempted to show, the blank verse line constituted one of the major poetic resources of the Renaissance dramatist. By metrical variation Shakespeare and his contemporaries were able to denote the emotional tempo of a specific scene, to engineer or frustrate dramatic involvement, and to distinguish one cast of mind or social group from another. Rhythm was not, however, the only poetic resource available to the dramatists of the period. The majority of Elizabethan-Jacobean playwrights were poets as well as dramatists, and they brought to their comedies and tragedies the same literary techniques that they employed in their non-dramatic works. Rhyme, alliteration,1 and onomatopoeia2 are all freely utilized, while poetic forms are sometimes transposed in their entirety, like the sonnet through which Romeo and Juliet first communicate (I.v.92–105), into the dramatic structure.


Stage Spectacle Figurative Language Relative Worth Sexual Jealousy Play World 
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Copyright information

© Leah Scragg 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leah Scragg
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ManchesterUK

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