Imagery is a technique often used by writers to establish an atmosphere which emphasizes themes and aids in characterization. Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and the anonymous poet's Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, are exceptional examples of poets constructing imagery patterns to improve the reader's experience. In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare consistently repeats the motifs of sweet sorrow, light and dark and love and death to accentuate the tragedy; similarly, nature and colour reoccur throughout Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, developing two brilliantly well written pieces of work.
The opening image of Romeo and Juliet, informs the audience that they will witness the interlocking of joy and sorrow.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventured piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife. (Prologue.5-8)
The chorus explains that the two families of Verona are mortal enemies and only with the death of their only children, can order be restored to the streets of Verona (http:// www.clicknotes.com/romeo).
This image sets in motions the entire course of action for the play, as well as heightens the audience's sympathy for the tragic events to come. One knows that this play is a tale of sweet sorrow and that the result will end in death; however, one cannot help but hope that the course of action will change.
Interwoven in the chaos of Verona is the beautiful scene in which Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time. Contained in a sonnet, Shakespeare juxtaposed the order of their love with the turmoil surrounding them, amplifying the tragedy. The sweetness of this scene is the followed by the Juliet's realization that Romeo is a Montague.
My only love, sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and...