What does “ But soft! What light through yonder breaks? It is the east and Juliet is the sun.” mean?
Question:This is a quote from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet and I need a modern english interpretation.
The full quote is 'what light through yonder window breaks' Romeo has just seen Juliet for the first time at her balcony. The sun rises in the East and the sun is a traditional symbol of power and new life. A modern interpretation might be to say that she is 'the light of his life', to continue the sun analogy. I don't see any particular meaning in the first part of the quote, her movement caught his attention. The most significant bit was his comparison of her as a new sun rising to mark a new day.
The above is correct. The only thing I would add is that I think "soft" means he is telling himself to be quiet.
It means Romeo thinks Juliet is very beautiful and is in love with her.
Be careful, walk softly.
What's that light in the window?
It's the sunrise! No, it's Juliet.
yonder window, he is comparing the brilliant beauty of Juliet to the sunrise
"But Soft!" Romeo is wandering around in forbidden territory at this point in the script, and he wants to be quiet and unheard, so he is telling himself to remain quiet. "What light through yonder window breaks?" He sees a light on in a window and sees his love Juliet in that specific window, and is speaking of her radiance. "It is the east and Juliet is the sun." The sun rises in the east...and Juliet is coming from inside her room onto the balcony, in a way of speaking "rising" onto the balcony for the world to behold her as they would behold the sun as it rises. Yet another compliment on her beauty and power...just as everyone compliments the sun as it rises and such.
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