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An Examination of Different Attitudes to Love and Marriage found in ‘Romeo and Juliet’

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Introduction

An Examination of Different Attitudes to Love and Marriage found in 'Romeo and Juliet' Love and Marriage is a significant theme in the play Romeo and Juliet, and is what the plot is based on. The design of the play shows the many different attitudes to love, with friends and family as well as 'love at first sight'. Although the main stream of love is between Romeo and Juliet, Juliet also has a love for her nurse and respect for her family. Juliet (like many girls of her era) was not very close to her parents but she must do what they wish and respect their decisions, when being told of her marriage to Paris, she can do nothing but agree, but Juliet's love for her Nurse is not based on respect alone, but on a true affection, and she trusts her with the secret of her love for Romeo. Romeo also has a platonic love; Mercutio is Romeo's greatest friend, whose death is later avenged by Romeo. In the middle ages the where many 'guidelines' that young men followed in the pursuit of love. These 'rules' had an affect on the way men in Shakespeare's time would have been expected to act, this comes through in the way Romeo acts at the beginning of the play. He is in love with Rosaline, and older and unattainable women, men in his time usually 'fell in love' with married women making them unattainable, but Rosaline is because she has taken a vow of chastity, therefore ignoring Romeo's advances, and making him grief stricken and woe full. ...read more.

Middle

Although she is impatient in her love for Romeo, she feels that their relationship is progressing to fast It is too rash, too unadvised, too sudden she would like to know whether thy bent of love be honorable. This leads to her waiting for the Nurse to return from Romeo with his message of love and marriage, The clock stuck nine when I did send the Nurse; In half an hour she did promise to return. Perchance she cannot meet him-that's not so- O she is lame, This is a directs contrast to when Romeo has to leave her after their wedding night, she wants to stretch out the night as long as feasible; she tries to persuade herself that it is not really the morning It was the nightingale, and not the lark and will not let him leave her until he informs her of the risk to his life. Come death, and welcome, Juliet wills it so. How is't, my soul? Let's talk; it is not day It is, it is, hie hence, be gone, away. Juliet's father begins the play by being a very liberal father, not many people at that time would allow her to marry within her scope of choice, and let Paris court her before their marriage. This all changes after Tybalt's death and he decides that Juliet should marry Paris with out him 'wooing' her. ...read more.

Conclusion

Although he is surprised, he is pleased that Romeo is no longer depressed and slow witted, but he does not know that now Romeo's heart formally belonging to Rosaline, has transferred it's affections to another, Juliet. Although Paris is usually portrayed as the 'bad character' in theatre productions, he seems to have affection for Juliet. He is prepared to 'woo' Juliet before their marriage, as Juliet's father, Capulet had wished him to; but had not had the chance after Tybalt's death Immoderately she weeps for Tybalt's death, And therefore have I little talked of love For Venus smiles not on a house of tears County Paris acts just as any young man of that era was expected to act in that situation, he visited the family of his betrothed, taking head of Capulat's wishes, and when Juliet is 'dead' he behaves in a way which would have been expected of him Sweet flower, with flowers thy bed I strew, Which with sweet water nightly I will dew. Romeo and Juliet shows a great verity of attitudes to love and marriage, as there is in today's English society (although the play was based in Italy, the audience would have recognized the society and culture of being English). Although the play is based on the different attitudes to love and marriage, Romeo and Juliet ends in tragedy but, as Friar Lawrence had wished, the death united the two houses and hopefully created a 'happy' ending. Maxine Smiles An Examination of Different Attitudes to Love and Marriage found in 'Romeo and Juliet' ...read more.

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