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Explore how Shakespeare presents love through language and drama in the play Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Explore how Shakespeare presents love through language and drama in the play Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet is one of Shakespeare's most famous plays and has been described as a romantic tragedy. I will be looking at the different types of love in the play and how the language and drama reflect these. The play opens with a Prologue from the Chorus who warn of the tragedy to come. "..........A pair of two star-cross'd lovers take their life:....... " Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet are the star-crossed lovers who die because their families, who have been feuding for generations, cannot accept the young people's love for one another. The phrase 'star-crossed' evokes the recurring theme of celestial forces directing the outcome of the story. When Romeo first meets Juliet it was 'love at first sight' which quickly developed into something deeper and more profound. This is reflected in the language which changes from blank verse to sonnet form (I.5. 93-106). This raises the tone of the emotion and illustrates for the audience, the empathy in thought and feeling, between Romeo and Juliet. ...read more.

Middle

"But, soft! What Light through yonder window breaks? It is east and Juliet is the sun!" There are many references to light and darkness, portraying the different aspects of Romeo and Juliet's relationship. Although the balcony scene is set at night Juliet steps out into the light and Romeo sees her as an angel. He cannot speak to her as he is hidden in the dark depths of the Capulet garden. When Romeo starts to talk to Juliet he emerges into the light and, during the conversation the image of light is portrayed as positive. "A thousand times the worse, to want thy light!" Throughout the scene 'light' and 'brightness' represents hope, innocence and love. The future of the young lovers seems predetermined by fate and this theme is echoed in the use of celestial imagery. "Two of the fairest stars in all the heaven, having some business, do entreat her eyes to twinkle in their spheres" Romeo and Juliet describe many of their emotions using the night sky and celestial bodies as a metaphor. This gives the effect that their lives are in the hands of fate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another technique used by Shakespeare to show love is the way he contrasts it so boldly to the hate in the play. There is Tybalt and Mercutio's death and the constant fighting between the younger generations of the families. The hate adds drama to the love relationship and the audience is aware that Romeo and Juliet will never be able to fully consummate their love for one another. Despite this, the audience sees a deepening love between Romeo and Juliet, so strong that they are prepared to leave their families and friends to be with each other. Then, by a twist of fate, they take their own lives, rather then live without each other. In conclusion, Shakespeare uses a range of techniques to present love through language and drama in the play 'Romeo and Juliet'. He uses different language styles including the sonnet form of poetry, imagery, language techniques, the idea of fate and destiny and by using techniques such as oxymoron's to emphasise and heighten the character's feelings. He also highlights Romeo and Juliet's relationship by structuring the play so that their scenes are separate from those involving hatred, death and darkness. This creates a play with romance, comedy, tragedy, and a deeper message about the importance of family, society, morality and their relationship to each other. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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