Act 1, Scene 4

True, I talk of dreams,
Which are the children of an idle brain,
Begot of nothing but vain fantasy,
Which is as thin of substance as the air
And more inconstant than the wind, who woos
Even now the frozen bosom of the north,
And, being angered, puffs away from thence,
Turning his face to the dew-dropping south.


True. I’m talking about dreams, which are the products of a brain that’s doing nothing. Dreams are nothing but silly imagination, as thin as air, and less predictable than the wind, which sometimes blows on the frozen north and then gets angry and blows south.

How does Shakespeare use language to convey his ideas about dreams in Act 1, Scene 4 of Romeo and Juliet?

Statement: Shakespeare uses metaphor to convey his thoughts about how dreams are nothing but our imagination. He does this by having Mercutio referring to dreams as the brain is doing nothing.                          Example‘Which are the children of an idle brain’ This proves that Shakespeare is referring to dreams as they are born to a brain that has nothing better to do.                                                                                                Explanation: pew pew shooting finger guns                                               




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  1. To develop this answer further, you might wish to look into the language effects Shakespeare is using. One of these is personification. Referring to the dreams as children means that Shakespeare passes all the qualities that we ascribe to children to dreams – this would be worth exploring.

    Have a go and let me know when you’ve done it.


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