Romeo and Juliet: Symbols
Symbols are shown in red text whenever they are discussed, so you can easily track them through the work.
Light/Dark and Day/Night
Romeo and Juliet is filled with imagery of light and dark. But while light is traditionally connected with "good" and dark with "evil," in Romeo and Juliet the relationship is more complex. Romeo and Juliet constantly see each other as forms of light. In the balcony scene, Romeo describes Juliet as the sun, while Juliet describes Romeo as stars. But the relationship between light and dark is complicated by the lover's need for the privacy of darkness in order to be together. As Romeo says when the sun dawns on the morning when he is to be banished from Verona, "More light and light, more dark and dark our woes!" So while Romeo and Juliet see each other as light, in order for their light to shine brightly it needs the contrast of darkness, of night, to make it powerful.
Prince Escalus and Veronese Citizens
As the sole representative of the government to appear in Romeo and Juliet, Prince Escalus symbolizes the law. The citizens of Verona symbolize civil society. These forces seek to contain the feud between the Montagues and Capulets, but over the course of the play it becomes clear that they also try to contain any grand passions, including the love between Romeo and Juliet.