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In what ways do the various types of love represented in Romeo and Juliet help you to understand the relationship of the star-crossed lovers?

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Dayzi Buchan In what ways do the various types of love represented in Romeo and Juliet help you to understand the relationship of the star-crossed lovers? In Romeo and Juliet, love is an integral theme and there is many representations of love; family love, courtly love, sexual love, and most importantly; the love between Romeo and Juliet. By comparing their love to others, we can see just how committed the star-crossed lovers are. We first see examples of sexual love when Sampson and Gregory are talking at the very beginning of the play. They are coarse and vulgar, making jokes about the male sexual organs and raping women. They way the speak portrays the general view about women and sex in those days. Sex seems to be the main topic of conversation for Shakespearians as we see further on in the play with Mercutio and his friends. When Sampson speaks of "thrusting his maids to the wall" he is suggesting that women are weaker and can be used for the sexual pleasures of men. They see women as objects for sex, and not as people. ...read more.


Paris knows Juliet does not wish to marry him, yet this only makes him more determined to marry her as he sees Juliet as a prize, to show his superiority over everyone else. In today's society, we would view Lord Capulet as a cold, unfeeling father because of the way he treats his daughter, but Lord Capulet is a prime example of Shakespearian fathers. His only wish is to make a good marriage for his daughter, but she rejects his help. Capulet doesn't know Juliet has fallen for Romeo and so cannot be expected to understand why she doesn't wish to marry Paris. Lord and Lady Capulet had an arranged marriage and never had the chance to fall in love so cannot see the disadvantages to an arranged marriage. Capulet doesn't have much love for Juliet, he views her as his property and expects her to comply with his rules, so when she doesn't, he flies of the handle and abuses her. Her mother is just as bad and always sides with her father, the way a wife was supposed to. ...read more.


From the moment you hear "holy shrine" you are aware that their love is heavenly and God himself has helped it come about. Romeo compares his lips to "two blushing pilgrims", indicating that he believes Juliet to be godly, and deserves to be worshipped. In the famous balcony scene, Romeo denies his name because it is an enemy of Juliet's. By distancing himself from his family Romeo is promising to stand by Juliet, no matter what. When Romeo speaks of his "life were better ended by their hate" he is declaring his love for Juliet, and saying that he would rather be dead than living without Juliet's love. Unwittingly, Romeo is anticipating the outcome of the play, just like the chorus prophesises that the ending will not be a happy one. The different types of love help us understand the relationship between Romeo and Juliet by showing us the background they came from, and what they were expected to be doing and talking about. By understanding this we can better relate to why they preferred to die for their love than deny it. We now understand better what they were up against and why it was so difficult for them to admit to the world that they were in love. ...read more.

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