Night: Rejoice or Rebel?
Night can be seen in two contrasting ways. The first can be summarized as a time for
celebration and love. The second, and most commonly associated with night, is a time of
darkness and horror. Two shining examples of the different emotions and reactions brought on
by darkness are the books Night by Elie Wiesel and Romeo and Juliet by well-known author,
William Shakespeare. In Romeo and Juliet night has a positive image, a welcomed time for
love, protection and exchanging of covenants, while in Night the image is portrayed in a negative
way, a time for fear, suffering, and death.
Night in the great romances is a greeted time of romance and in Shakespeare's Romeo and
Juliet a time to hide from the harsh reality of the outside world. Juliet greatly yearns for the
coming of night. 'And bring in cloudy night immediately.
Spread thy close curtain...'
(Shakespeare Act III Scene ii:4-5) Juliet is very eager for night to come as she uses the word
'immediately,' which is very strong and demanding. Her true love, Romeo, is also associated
with night. 'Come, night, come Romeo, come thou day in night.' (Shakespeare Act III Scene
Shakespeare uses night also as a time for exchanging of vows. 'Lady, by yonder, blessed
moon I vow, That tips with silver all these fruit tree tops ---'. (Shakespeare Act II Scene ii:106-
107) After Romeo's vow Juliet later promises during the welcomed night to be loyal to him
throughout his life. Under the cloak of darkness she is unafraid to pledge, 'And all my fortunes
at thy foot I'll lay, And follow thee my lord throughout the world.' (Shakespeare Act II Scene
Night has a third important role of protecting Romeo at first when he trespasses...