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Examine How Shakespeare Presents Love In A Variety Of Forms In 'Romeo And Juliet'.

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Introduction

Examine How Shakespeare Presents Love In A Variety Of Forms In 'Romeo And Juliet'. Consider How Different Characters Interpret The Meaning And Importance Of Love. 'Romeo and Juliet' has many different themes and messages, with one of the most popular being love. Shakespeare gives most significance to the romantic love between Romeo and Juliet, but there are lots of other aspects of love in the play and Shakespeare uses the different characters to present this. One form of love that Shakespeare describes in the play is the parental love between parents or carers such as the nurse, and children. Romeo's family life is presented as more caring than Juliet's. This is shown when Romeo's mother dies of grief when Romeo is banished and also when Juliet's parents don't understand how she's feeling and don't guess that she is prepared to kill herself. The Montague's are concerned about Romeo's state of mind at the beginning of the play, as he seems very depressed: 'Many a morning hath he there been seen, with tears augmenting the fresh morning dew, adding to clouds, more clouds with his deep sighs...' ...read more.

Middle

'Aye the heads of the maids, or their Maidenheads - take it in what sense thou wilt.' Shakespeare has used Sampson and Gregory and their bravado in the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet to demonstrate the hatred between the two families and also that it has spread right through the households to the servants. The whole idea of Shakespeare using this crude speech, is to then emphasize the beautiful poetry between Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare also presents love in the form of infatuation. Initially Romeo is portrayed as a young man who thinks he is desperately in love with Rosaline. However he is evidently very confused and his language reflects his feelings. 'Mis-shapen chaos of well- seeming forms Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health, Still waking sleep, that is not what it is' Romeo's behaviour shows he enjoys his melancholy state as he cuts himself off from the outside, but makes sure everyone knows about his depression. He tries to explain to Benvolio how depressed and confused he feels. 'love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs, being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes, being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers' tears, What is it else? ...read more.

Conclusion

O that she knew she were.' In conclusion, the main theme of the play is love, but all the characters view it's importance and meaning differently. It is obvious to anyone that Romeo and Juliet feel that love is the most important thing in their lives, as they are prepared and do die for it. However every character treats love in a different way. Benvolio for example cares more about his friendships than romantic love and shows no desire for a romantic relationship in the play. Mercutio treats love as a game and as he has never experienced true love, he enjoys mocking other people's experience of love. The parents of the two lovers care a lot about their love for their children, but this parental love is treated differently by each set of parents. Capulet for example, wants the best for Juliet, but is also conscious of the family name while Lady Montague actually dies of grief for her son when he is banished. The nurse loves Juliet as if she was her daughter up to a point, but is not prepared to stick by her when she is in trouble. Through these characters and their presentation of the many meanings of love, Shakespeare illustrates that love has many aspects. ...read more.

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