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Consider how the themes of love and hate are explored in Act 1 Scene 5

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How are the themes of love and hate explored in Act 1 Scene 5? In the 16th century the well-established playwright William Shakespeare wrote the immensely popular play, 'Romeo and Juliet.' However, the idea of two star-crossed lovers and fated love originated from a narrative poem by Arthur Brook, 'The Tragicall History of Romeus and Juliet,' and not in fact Shakespeare. Shakespeare had evidently read and enjoyed the poem as he decided to rework it into a play with his own style and edge. He made various changes as he wrote from the poem, such as; the altering of Juliet's age. In Shakespeare's play we see Juliet to be thirteen to fourteen, but originally in Brook's poem Juliet's character was a lot older. Another change made was the length of time the two lovers had together before being separated. In the poem their time together was spread over three months whereas in the play Shakespeare only wrote Romeo and Juliet to have one night of passion together before their parting. As well as technical changes we also see Shakespeare's language and style of writing in the play to display far more sympathy towards the two lovers dilemma, by writing plenty of sorrow and hysteria and emotion into the speech, in turn causing the audience to feel the sympathy when watching the performance. Brook, however, seemed far more judgemental and unsympathetic with Romeo (or Romeus, as he originally wrote) ...read more.


We also see Capulet reminiscing with his cousin Capulet about their past dancing days, showing recognition that they know they are getting older and are aware of the passing of time, 'For you and I are past our dancing days.' They even make references to past friends who are now dead, 'Tis since the nuptial of Lucentio.' Reminiscing is something we also see done by the Nurse with Juliet in later scenes as she talks with her about her dead daughter Susan. Meanwhile elsewhere we can see Romeo seeing for the first time, his true love Juliet, giving a change in atmosphere. The previous jokey, light-hearted feel to the scene becomes far more intense and deep as Romeo first realises his love for Juliet. His language is genuine and loving as he describes Juliet in a soliloquy to the audience. He uses imagery of light and colour, 'she doth teach the torches to burn bright!' The use of light imagery comes up in virtually every conversation with Juliet. This is because light was seen to represent beauty and purity indicating that Romeo's love for Juliet is pure and genuine ways in which he didn't speak of his supposed previous love Rosaline. When speaking about Rosaline, a lady he thought he loved, earlier in the play, he spoke about her confusing him and the misery and heart ache it was causing him to feel. He used lots of oxymorons, ' ' and ' ' showing just how confused he was. ...read more.


Romeo and Juliet begin to converse with a sonnet to express their love to one another. They share the fourteen line sonnet which is almost always written with rhyming couplets, '...unworthiest hand, This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this, my lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand...' However, there are exceptions. During the sonnet they use a lot of religious imagery, 'holy palmers' kiss', 'use in prayer' and 'good pilgrim.' This is another way in which they display that their love is pure and genuine. The sonnet ends and they kiss for the first time. Romeo and Juliet then begin another sonnet but are interrupted by the arrival of the Nurse informing Juliet that her mother wants her and Juliet leaves. The Nurse's arrival brings them back to reality with a jolt, causing another change in atmosphere as the Nurse informs Romeo that Juliet is in fact a Capulet and he realises for the first that their love isn't going to be as smooth as they'd hoped and will in fact be hindered at every turn with complications as they are supposed to be enemies and come from rival families. Its as if the theme of hate is interrupting the theme of love and spoiling what could have been a happy ending. The Nurse begins to tell Romeo of how marrying Juliet would mean wealth and riches, 'he that can lay hold on her shall have the chinks', in a way corrupting their love and ruining the image of it being pure and beautiful. Benvolio comes to tell a distraught and anxious Romeo that its time to leave. ...read more.

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