Juliet--"Beautiful tyrant! fiend angelical!" (Act III Scene ii Line 77)

When Juliet refers to Romeo as a "beautiful tyrant," she is expressing an oxymoron because the acts of a tyrant will rarely be referred to as beautiful. What does "fiend angelical" stand for?

  • I haven't read Romeo and Juliet. However, their families or clans are enemies. So, they are not allowed to love each other. Maybe, Juliet expresses her conflictive feelings. To her, Romeo is supposed to be an enemy, however, she thinks him to be beautiful. My guess would be: angelical = angel-like. – Dohn Joe Feb 1 '13 at 13:03
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    Fiend is another name for Satan as well as a noun that means demon. Demons live in Hell and angels live in Heaven, according to Judeo-Christian mythology, so as Marcus_33 says, it's another oxymoron. – user21497 Feb 1 '13 at 13:39
  • While comments about it being an oxymoron are probably correct, it's worth noting that Satan's name is "Lucifer". The bible tell us that Lucifer - a / the angel of Light - highest of the angels, who sought to usurp Jehovah's position and was banished. So "fiend angelical" is an apt description of Satan - but probably not what Juliet (or Shakespeare) intended. – Russell McMahon Feb 1 '13 at 16:33

It's another oxymoron. "Fiend" is a person of great malice or wickedness. "Angelical" means a person who is like an angel, i.e. very good.

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    Angelical can also mean a person of great beauty, making fiend angelical a synonym for beautiful tyrant. – deadly Feb 1 '13 at 13:40

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