• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Compare and contrast Romeo's speeches in Act 1 scene 1 when he speaks of Rosaline and Act 1 scene 5 - when he sees Juliet

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Compare and contrast Romeo's speeches in Act 1 scene 1 when he speaks of Rosaline and Act 1 scene 5 - when he sees Juliet. What changes in Romeo's language, feelings and opinion of love can be noted and what conclusions can be reached about the nature of his love for the two women? Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare was written around the 16^th century. Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet" is a love-tragedy about two people who fall in love from two feuding families. The intended audience was for Elizabethans who visited the theatre regularly. An Elizabethan lover was very different to a typical lover nowadays. An Elizabethan was a deeply pious person and was typically married at a very young age. This can be illustrated by Juliet who is only 13 or 14 and yet she marries Romeo despite the fact that he is also quite young. The lover would attract the opposite sex by the use of poetry and various romantic words. As well as different characteristics, a typical Elizabethan lover also held different moral values. Society at that time believed strongly in maintaining high moral values and trying to set good examples for the rest of their community. For instance, if two people fell in love with each other, but they were not married at the time, (or were from two feuding families), it would be frowned upon by other members of society for those two people to act upon their emotions & feelings of love. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo frequently refers to Juliet as being the light that emblazons his life which to him, seems to be surrounded by darkness and discontent. Shakespeare uses this technique in Romeo's speech in Act 1 scene 5, when Romeo first sees Juliet. The language used in the scene emphasises how powerful Romeo's love is for Juliet. "For I ne'er saw true beauty till this night." Romeo asks himself if he had ever loved before and whether he had ever seen such beauty until now. This may encourage the reader to doubt his feelings for Rosaline. The final theme in the two speeches is the theme of religion. Shakespeare conveys this message of religion because it reflects the religious nature of most Elizabethans. Romeo refers to Juliet as being some kind of `holy shrine' as he says "If I profane with my unworthiest hand the holy shrine...gentle sin". Romeo then asks if lips could do what hands do; i.e. to pray and worship. This shows that he would look upon Juliet as some kind of goddess and worship her. The contrasting symbolism is apparent in the language because he wants to express his love for her as if he worshiped her. He then kisses Juliet for the first time. The theme also emphasises the spirituality of their love by incorporating some religious metaphors used by Romeo when describing pilgrims and Juliet. This can be shown when he says: "...my lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand...." ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo also seems to become more mature and from looking at his speech and the language he uses, the reader can identify that Romeo is really in love with Juliet. The nature of Romeo's feelings for the two women is very different. Romeo acts in a childish way in Act 1 scene 1. This because he is not actually in love; he is in love with the idea of being in love. Therefore this causes Romeo to behave like this and say things he does not mean. For instance, he said he would only ever be in love with Rosaline and looking at other beautiful women would do nothing but remind him of Rosaline. In scene 5 Romeo becomes an entirely different person. He speaks in an appropriate way; he becomes more mature and does not say things unnecessarily. His language becomes more sophisticated and he describes Juliet with a contrast between `light and dark' with powerful imagery. He also describes Juliet as being `holy.' The reader is given the idea of her being pure and beautiful. Romeo was not in love with Rosaline as at that time, he did not know the meaning of love and he was in love with the idea of being in love, so behaved in a childish manner. Romeo's love for Juliet is clear and distinguishable. Lastly, Romeo is a quick and indecisive character at the start of the play; he acts childish and talks in an illogical way. During the play, when he first sees Juliet, he becomes more mature and begins to act like an adult. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Romeo & Juliet essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    HOW DOES JULIET'S CHARACTER DEVELOP FROM DUTIFUL DAUGHTER TO INDEPENDENT YOUNG WOMAN IN 'ROMEO ...

    4 star(s)

    The hero, Lysander, uses the same image as Juliet, when talking to his true love, Hermia. He compares love to the briefness of lightening: "Swift as a shadow, short as any dream, / Brief as the lightening in the collied night" (A Midsummer Nights Dream, 1:1:143-144)

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Shakespeare coursework- Romeo and Juliet Why is Act 1 scene 5 an effective piece ...

    3 star(s)

    He has a fiery personality and it first shows in Act 1 Scene 1 when he arrives at the argument between the servants of the Montague's and Capulet's. He quickly steps in as he sees Benvolio trying to stop the fight and draws his sword to duel him.

  1. Exploring the Way the Women are Portrayed in Romeo and Juliet

    ROMEO She hath, and in that sparing makes huge waste; For beauty starved with her severity Cuts beauty off from posterity. She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair, To merit bliss by making me despair. She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow Do I live dead, that live to tell it now."

  2. "Consider how and why Shakespeare uses natural images in Sonnet XVIII, "Shall I compare ...

    "O speak again, bright angel". Romeo refers to Juliet. This statement is very ironic. Romeo states this as a positive comparison - angels are beautiful, they are angelic. They show immortality, just like his love for her. However, the "bright angel" that he speaks of, is God's bright angel, named

  1. How did Shakespeare create tension in act 1 scene 5 of Romeo and Juliet

    audience can see they are made for each other by how they talk and how they carry on the conversation in poetry "ROMEO: Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too? JULIET: Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.

  2. What do we learn about Romeo and Juliet in Act 2 Scene 2? Do ...

    Do thou but call my resolution wise, and with this knife I'll help it presently." She even goes as far to say that she would rather " Hide me nightly in a charnel house," or "O'er-cover'd quite with dead men's rattling bones."

  1. Discuss the various perceptions of love in Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet - Then choose ...

    This play represents 'true love' because it shows pure hatred turn into pure love. Romeo and Juliet went against everything they were brought up with and gave up their lives to be together. Romeo is a very passionate person when we first meet him, and his passion stays throughout the play.

  2. How does the opening scene of "Romeo and Juliet" grab the audience's attention? How ...

    During these fights, our next character, Prince Escalus, enters. He immediately stops the fight and issues his last warning. "If ever you disturb our streets again, your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace." In Shakespearean times, there was no government to help rule the country: it was the prince's last word that everyone followed.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work