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Write about the ways Shakespeare explores different characters experiences of love in Act 1, Scene 2 of Richard III and Act 2, Scene 2 of Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

Write about the ways Shakespeare explores different characters? experiences of love in Act 1, Scene 2 of ?Richard III? and Act 2, Scene 2 of ?Romeo and Juliet?. Love is the seminal theme in the romantic tragedy ?Romeo and Juliet? written by Elizabethan playwright William Shakespeare. It is love that is the driving force of the plays actions, in the same way it is love that brings about the tragic end of the two central protagonists. ?Romeo and Juliet? experience love euphorically and as a powerful emotion. In Richard III love is used for political gain and to increase his positioning to the throne after he fought and won the war of the roses against the Lancaster?s. Richard perceives love as an opportunity to increase his status and to elevate his self closer to the throne of England and he does not marry lady Anne because he genuinely loves her unlike ?Romeo and Juliet?, but because he needs a queen to become King and he sees her as the person who makes him more reputable and of more importance. Shakespeare starts ?Romeo and Juliet? with a prologue which provides the audience with an overview of what is to come. Shakespeare carefully structures Romeo and Juliet for dramatic effect which creates dramatic irony. The prologue is written in sonnet form because the play is about love, marriage and relationships. As these themes interlink the play is written in sonnet form to highlight the importance of love in the play. From the beginning we learn that they are a ?pair of star-crossed lovers?, suggesting that their love is destined and that they are both characters which will experience passionate and genuine love for each other. ...read more.

Middle

This provides strong evidence that they were experiencing true romance, since Romeo was willing to put himself in danger to see Juliet. In retrospect this was a key notification to them both that their ?destiny was doomed?. Foreshadowing is also used when Romeo says ?My life better ended by their hate?, this also shows that fate plays an inevitable role as their love is doomed from the start and they are destined to die which will eventually end the feud between the two warring families. In addition this also suggests that Juliet is being conveyed as more sensible and rational in her thoughts warning Romeo that he may be killed if he gets caught. Nevertheless in Richard III love is definitely put across by Shakespeare as deceitful, unromantic and fragile. Richard?s dogmatic character shows the audience that the relationship between them was from both sides and opportunity to benefit in deferent aspects. When Anne says ?To take is not to give?, this shows that Richard forcefully has taken her love as he was able to pick up on her vulnerability but she did not devote her life to him and that within the marriage is not for true love which she feels internally. Lady Anne?s marriage to Richard was the best chance she had of protecting her share of her inheritance and provided her with protection since she was an enemy of the York?s. Richard is in control over Anne since the start since it was set in a patriarchal society, Richard had the more power over her and this could be a reason to she gave in and married Richard, however she does not devote her life to him suggesting she is not in true love with him. ...read more.

Conclusion

Whereas Anne compares Richard to hell when she says ?And thou unfit for any place but hell.? This suggests how there is a distinct contrast in the imagery Richard uses to describe Anne and the imagery Anne uses to describe Richard, there is almost a hell and heaven battle simulated by Shakespeare and this affects the way the two characters portray each other. Anne?s rash decision when she spits at Richard is a chance for him to release his anger and hate against Anne but he doesn?t instead he says ?Never came poison from such sweet a place?, this again shows that Richard is using positive imagery to compare Anne to and his reaction is very poised and calm which shows that he may have some loving feelings towards Anne. However Richards and Anne?s experience of love at this moment in time is very unstable and moving back and forth, until Richard proposes to marry her and she accepts. Overall, to conclude Shakespeare presents love as a multi-dimensional theme and that it can alternate depending on the situation. Shakespeare explores love in different ways and the love between different characters is perceived and experienced differently. Romeo experiences love passionately and genuinely, Juliet also feels the same powerful emotions of true and eternal love towards Romeo. However on the other hand Richard experiences love much less ardently and intensely than Romeo but he sees it as an opportunity to elevate his political position to become king of England. Finally Lady Anne also experiences love less loving but more for protection and to keep her status and inheritance as an important figure since it was a patriarchal society. Shakespeare uses different language techniques and dramatic devices to show the difference in the ways different characters? experience love in the two set scenes. ...read more.

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