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Discuss and analyse the role that love and marriage play in Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

"Discuss and analyse the role that love and marriage play in Romeo and Juliet" Romeo and Juliet is a play about two young lovers who fall helplessly in love. However, both belong to two rival houses of Verona, the Montague's and the Capulet's, both in a feud filled with hatred. In this essay I intend to discuss and analyse the role that love and marriage play in Romeo and Juliet. We first see Romeo prior to his first meeting with Juliet, alone and grieving for Rosaline. Romeo's language is melancholic and complains in the then fashionable elaborate language of love about his sorrow at Rosaline's rejection. Benvolio is the first to experience Romeo's melancholic tone in Act 1 Scene 1 "Ay me, sad hours seem long". Romeo regards Rosaline to be the most beautiful woman in existence calling her "the all-seeing sun" (this is also very outrageous to a Shakespearian audience, as astrological images such as that were and that she "ne'er saw her match since first the world begun". He worships her and swears his love in religious terms. His language is depressed over his rejection, reciting "feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire" to Benvolio and uses oxymoron. An oxymoron is a poetic device meaning the use of combining contradictory terms for effect and can heighten the emotion of a poem. Romeo using oxymoron almost wants Benvolio and the audience to 'feel' his pain. Romeo appears inexperienced in love and rejection because of his melancholy behaviour and his desperation to seek others for help. ...read more.

Middle

In the Capulet's eyes, a marriage to Paris would bring increased social status and wealth for the Capulet's, as Lady Capulet observes: "So shall you share all that he doth possess." The Capulet's believe it to be very important to have a higher status in the world. They also believe that Paris is a nobleman and a worthy choice as Juliet's husband and there is therefore no reason why she should not want to marry him. Their views on marriage are therefore totally materialistic. Capulet himself defers to her ability to choose for herself, shouting "my will to her consent is but a part" as his power to force her into a marriage is always present. Indeed, when Juliet refuses to marry, he tells her to "graze where you will" and "you will not house with me." This language is very shocking for the audience as it is hard to believe a parent would treat their child in such a manner. Juliet's parents' materialistic views on love mean that neither parent can fully understand why Juliet should possibly want to decline such a handsome offer of marriage such as Paris, unflatteringly called a "man of wax" by the Nurse. The term "man of wax" implies that Paris is a model and perfect man, made out of a mould as it were. I am certain that Romeo and Juliet were fated to meet one another. The chorus puts them as "a pair of star-crossed lovers" claiming that their meeting was fated from the start. ...read more.

Conclusion

Capulet is enraged at Juliet's denial, saying she should be grateful that they have chosen for her such a "worthy gentleman". Capulet then threatens her to either marry or to be an outcast. This proposal is evidence that Capulet does not care of what his daughter thinks with regards to marriage and merely wishes the wedding to satisfy his own desires: "God had lent us but this only child, but now I see this one is one too much and that we have a curse in having her". Juliet's Nurse defends her by blaming the parents for making Juliet as she is: "You are to blame my Lord to rate her so". Capulet's threat of abandoning Juliet suggests that he has little concern for his daughter at this point. When the parents leave the scene the Nurse suggests simply marrying Paris so as to avoid further grief or trouble: "O he's a lovely gentleman! Romeo's a dishclout to him". This is a shock to Juliet - she has realised that her reasons for wanting to get married are nothing like those of the people around her. The ending to the play Romeo and Juliet is very tragic with many of the characters needlessly dying. It suggests that warfare is appalling, and should be stopped. Shakespeare also suggests that love is a delicate matter, and must be taken slowly, unlike in the manner Romeo and Juliet had. Because the two lovers had taken love so quickly, both their lives ended tragically. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 | Page ...read more.

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