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Aspects of love in Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Romeo and Juliet Coursework. The legend of Romeo and Juliet had been popular for more than a hundred years; by the time Shakespeare wrote his play. Shakespeare's primary source for 'Romeo and Juliet' is a popular poem-'The tragicall Historye of Romeus and Juliet', by Arthur Brooke (1562). Brooke's poem is based on Luigi Da Porta's tale of Romeo and Giulietta. Da Porta was the first to insist that the lovers were historical figures, which still exists today. Shakespeare uses the moral of the original and turns his young lovers into the victims of parental control. In Shakespeare's version it is the adults who must accept responsibility for their children. This is what time was like when Shakespeare was writing. As was with women even though there was a Queen Elizabeth, women were very much controlled they were told what to do and even forced to marry whomever their father wished for them to marry. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, there is a great amount of love and passion in this play and the characters have very different perceptions of love. Romeo and Juliet was first performed at Shakespeare's Globe theatre in London around 1594. It has inspired music, opera, ballet, literature, musical comedy and film. During the play there are several types of love depicted in the play. In the opening scene of Romeo and Juliet the audience meets Samson and Gregory who both have very based views about love. The conversation between these two characters, shows their love is vulgar and unpleasant. Their views on love are a complete contrast to the views of Romeo and Juliet's love, which is pure and special. Samson says "Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague's men from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall." Here Samson is saying he will rape and hurt Montague's maids. ...read more.

Middle

Romeo's first impression of Juliet with his imagery to describe her: 'O she doth teach the torches to burn bright!' and 'It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night as a rich jewel in an Ethiops ear.' He is describing her beauty that she stands out from all the rest and refers her to a bright light. He describes her as special and pure. He also says 'beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear.' He is saying she's too good to even be on Earth. Romeo is over come here by Juliet's beauty. Although the words he uses are different to the love he felt for Rosaline, he is still using rhyming couplets, which shows the love he is feeling is still artificial. At this point he is feeling this love for Juliet from afar without having yet spoke to her, so here he is still into more of a physical love. However, Romeo does believe his love for Juliet is special when he says 'Did my heart love till now?' When Romeo and Juliet speak for the first time together, they cut off from everything going on around them at the party. They become isolated from the ball. They speak in a sonnet, which is a 14-line poem traditionally about love. Petrach uses it, very much associated with love. It is most appropriate for Romeo and Juliet's first meeting. It is made up of 3 quatrains and a final rhyming couplet using a rhyming scheme of ABAB CDCD EFEF GG. Juliet echoes Romeo. They share the last quatrain and the rhyming couplet the effect of this shows they are becoming closer and that they are made for each other with the fact that they can do this. During the sonnet, Shakespeare uses imagery between Romeo and Juliet. They use holy language to show that their love is pure, special, holy and religious. Romeo describes Juliet's hand as 'This holy shrine.' Juliet uses this as well; she calls him 'Good pilgrim.' ...read more.

Conclusion

She's vowing that she will be far more true to him. She's speaking from the heart; she's honest and open-minded. Her love for Romeo gives her great happiness; we see this on her wedding night. The happiness she feels as she looks forward to becoming Romeo's wife. Juliet also shows an increase in independence. At the beginning of the play she depends on the nurse as a go between herself and Romeo, confiding in her and valuing her opinion. However in act 3 scene 5 the nurse gives her advice to marry Paris and Juliet decides never to confide in her again. She is appalled at the nurse's advice she says 'Ancient damnation! O most wicked fiend!' Juliet here has to act on her own, without parents, nurse and without Romeo. She relies on herself and shows great strength of character. In act 4 scene 1, Juliet shows massive courage during her conversation with friar Lawrence in which she details her fears, but is willing to face up to them to avoid betraying Romeo. 'Or bid me go into a new-made grave, And hide me with a dead man in his shroud- Things that to hear them told, have made me tremble-And I will do it without fear or doubt, to live an unstained wife to my sweet love.' Her love for Romeo has given her a desperate strength. She's scared but will do it for Romeo. Again, Juliet shows huge courage just before she takes the potion. She has terrible fears, but goes through with the plan, for her love for Romeo. Act 4 scene 3 Juliet drinks to him 'Romeo, I come! This do I drink to thee.' Her love for Romeo allows her to kill herself because she can't live without him. Shakespeare provides us with several aspects of love from that of the more basic love of Mercutio through to the courtly love of Paris and Romeo's love for Rosaline to the special love of Romeo and Juliet, which still enchants audiences today. Carly Chadwick 10C ...read more.

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