Romeo and Juliet: Significance of Juliet’s allusion to Ovid’s story of Phaeton
In Juliet’s soliloquy in Act 3, Scene 2, Lines 1-31, she commands time to “gallop apace” in order that Romeo may “leap to her arms….unseen” and that she may enjoy love’s consummation. Shakespeare’s allusion to Phaeton punctuates line three of Juliet’s soliloquy, taking the full-knowing reader to Ovid’s story of Phaeton’s ill-fated chariot ride as recounted in Metamorphoses, Book 2. Your task is to read Ovid’s story of Phaeton carefully in order (1) to delineate what specific meanings the allusion imports, openly or covertly into Juliet’s speech and (2) to determine how the allusion speaks to the experience to which Juliet’s speech and its goals will deliver her.
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