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‘Romeo and Juliet is a play about love, but this word means different things to different characters in the play, and for some, like Romeo, its meaning changes as the play progresses. Discuss the theme of love in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and exam

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Introduction

'Romeo and Juliet is a play about love, but this word means different things to different characters in the play, and for some, like Romeo, its meaning changes as the play progresses. Discuss the theme of love in 'Romeo and Juliet' and examine the different attitudes towards love that the characters have. 'Romeo and Juliet' is a play about fate, hate, passion and most of all love. From the beginning love has a strong hold on the audience, particularly their emotion. The theme of love is used and shown in many different ways throughout the play, for example love goes from being shown as a lustful, melancholy emotion, such as Romeos love for Rosaline, to a happy joyful emotion, such as Romeos love for Juliet. Each and every character has a different approach and view to love from everyone else. As well as many different views towards love being shown throughout the play there are also many different types of love shown, such as, unrequited, passionate and motherly love. Love also brings many dramatic aspects to the play; most notable is the dramatic tension it brings. The dramatic tension is created by the strong contrast between love and hate, which is consistent throughout the play. ...read more.

Middle

Now art thou what thou art, by art as well as nature, for this drivelling love is like a great natural that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole'. This is a great contrast to how Romeo acted when he thought he was in love with Rosaline and so by being merry and happy he shows us that he is truly feeling love. This is ironic, as Mercutio doesn't realise that Romeo wasn't in love before but is now. Romeos attitude towards love is always dreamy, whether it is genuine or not. He gets carried away with emotion and 'babbles' on about his actions and feelings. A prime example of this is when he climbs over the Capulet wall to get to Juliet. She is quick to warn of the dangers he will face if he gets caught and she asks how he got over the wall, he teases her with his imagination by saying, 'With love's light wings did I o'erperch these walls, For stony limits cannot hold love out, And what love can do, that dares no attempt. Therefore thy kinsmen are no to stop me.' Romeos dreamy attitude also expresses his brave, romantic loving for Juliet, telling her that none of her men would be able to stop him. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Nurse looks at appearances, making it seem as though along with money it makes a marriage. Before the wedding the nurse talks of Romeos body as 'better than any man's' informing Juliet that his legs 'excel all men's'. There is evidence however that the Nurse has indeed experienced true love. She often speaks highly of her former husband who died some years ago. Benvolio has the most similar views to the Nurse than anyone else. He focuses on looks more than anything else, which is shown when he tells Romeo to 'Examine other beauties', in order to get over Rosaline. However he has a caring, friendly love for Rosaline, for although he tells Romeo to 'take thou new infection to thy eye', he only wants Romeo to do this so that he is happy. Perhaps the problem is that he has never experienced love like Romeo has for both Rosaline and Juliet, which is why he can't help or understand Romeo. Mercutio is often very bawdy and makes it clear that he hasn't experienced love by jeering at Romeo, 'Romeo! Humours! Madman! Passion! Lover!' he cries, 'Cry but 'Ay me,' pronounce but 'love' and 'dove';'. Like Benvolio, Mercuito doesn't understand why Romeo feels the way he feels. Mercutio, like the Nurse focuses on sex, which he strongly express when he shouts, 'If love be blind, love cannot hit the mark'. ...read more.

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