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how Shakespeare presents conflicting attitudes to love in the play Romeo and Juliet

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ROMEO AND JULIET COURSEWORK ESSAY Explore how Shakespeare presents conflicting attitudes to love in the play Romeo and Juliet In the play Romeo and Juliet written in the 1600s by William Shakespeare displays conflicting attitudes to love. In his play he demonstrates how there are many more definitions of love which gives the play more complexity and helps add intensity to the audience. In Shakespeare's day men and women were expected to flirt with one another, it was a regular and frequent act that would show a man confidence and a women's fun side. The idea of courtly love was a European tradition and there were rules for every flirtatious male and female to follow. These rules applied mainly for men because usually the female is unattainable or married, usually of a much higher class in most cases. Another stage of courtly love is where the lover is consumed by there melancholy because they cannot have they're man or lady, and they write poems for their chosen one. The lover become possessed by their own constant thoughts about there love and cannot escape from it. There are several couples in the play that fall into the category of courtly love; for example Romeo's love for Rosaline at the start of the play or Paris' love for Juliet. ...read more.


Talking about Juliet's age does not matter to Paris because he states in his conversation with Capulet that young girls make "mothers and maids". "Younger than she are happy mothers maid". In the 17th centaury this was the attitude to marriage and females and sexism seems to be a common thing that happened then. This attitude to love and sexism in the play gives a clue to Shakespeare's life and what was common and acceptable then. The Nurses relationship with Juliet is of the Unromantic love variety. Juliet did not get love and affection from her mother at a young age because as the family is wealthy they can pay someone to do this for them. But the Nurse has always been there for Juliet, she speaks in a very different way to Juliet than Lady Capulet does. Lady Capulet speaks to Juliet in a very formal manor and Juliet replies as if she were her mother's mistress. For example Juliet is address by her mother as 'daughter' 'lady' and 'girl' Also when Juliet is discussing her marriage plans with her father, Capulet is extremely forceful, he speaks in a very threatening way to Juliet which let the audience know that marriage in those days was maybe treated as more of a business arrangement. ...read more.


The created imagery when describing Juliet sometimes links to religious things and is designed to create ceremonial pictures in the audience mind. This differs to the imagery created when Romeo is talking about Rosaline as later in the play Romeo and Juliet marry hence the religious links and imagery. In act two scenes two Romeo speaks in sonnet form and the scene reveals very open and beautiful poetry, it reveals the extent of Romeo and Juliet's love for one another. The words that Romeo speaks often rhyme with Juliets this shows their compatibility and how they are a perfect couple in love. 'Have saints not lips and holy palmers too?' 'O then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do:' In conclusion I believe that when Shakespeare presents conflicting attitudes to love in different ways. Firstly he does this to create the effect of tension and humour for the audience. He creates this effect in many different ways, a different way for each type of love. I believe this play is so successful and the different attitudes to love come across very well because Shakespeare uses different techniques when writing for example creating heavy imagery linking to later plots when describing a physical appearance or creating humour by using crude comments with a sexual connotation. Oliver Bell ...read more.

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