Read the Romeo & Juliet soliloquy “O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright” below with modern English translation & analysis:

Spoken by Romeo, Romeo & Juliet, Act 1 Scene 1:

O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!
It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
Like a rich jewel in an Ethiope’s ear;
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
So shows a snowy dove trooping with crows,
As yonder lady o’er her fellows shows.
The measure done, I’ll watch her place of stand,
And, touching hers, make blessed my rude hand.
Did my heart love till now? forswear it, sight!
For I ne’er saw true beauty till this night.

“O, She Doth Teach The Torches To Burn Bright” Soliloquy Translation

Romeo stared. She was so beautiful that she made the torches around the hall appear to grow dim. She was a dazzling jewel illuminating the dark night sky. She stood out from the other girls like a snowy dove in a field of crows. She … Oh. he could never find the words to describe her. She couldn’t be real: such beauty wasn’t possible. ‘I don’t believe what I’m seeing.’ he said aloud and pushed his mask right up to the top of his head to see better.

 

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8 replies
  1. T:ony
    T:ony says:

    OKAY okay, let’s all just calm down here, and get these things straight:
    > A soliloquy is when a character speaks his or her thoughts aloud; the character speaking the soliloquy may not be the only one onstage. However, if this is the case, the character speaking is unaware of the other characters onstage or the other characters are unaware of him or her.
    > An aside is usually a (short) comment towards the audience by a character onstage in the knowing presence of other characters, but not meant for the other characters to hear.
    > A dramatic monologue is when a speech is directed towards characters onstage.

    By these definitions, The fact that Tybalt hears Romeo speaking, this would make this closest to being a dramatic monologue because it was in the knowing presence of other characters who may have heard him, even though he did not address anyone in particular.

    Reply
    • T:ony
      T:ony says:

      Now, it is not an aside due to the fact that it wasn’t necessarily addressed to the audience, but to no one in particular. In all reality, he was knowingly talking aloud to himself, knowing he may have been overheard, but not caring.

      Reply
    • English Major
      English Major says:

      This is not a soliloquy, it is a monologue. This monologue is no a soliloquy because there are other actors on stage when Romeo is describing Juliet.

      Reply
      • Jake
        Jake says:

        A soliloquy is pretty much thinking aloud. A monologue is speaking aloud by yourself, but you are aware of the presence of other people, when in a soliloquy, the speaker has no idea that there is anyone around, and/or there is just no one around anyways.

        Reply

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