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Discuss Shakespeares portrayal of love and its dramatic effects in Romeo & Juliet

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Introduction

Title: Discuss Shakespeare's portrayal of love and it's dramatic effects in Romeo & Juliet. William Shakespeare (1564-1616) born in Stratford-on-Avon, Warwickshire was an English poet, dramatist, and actor, considered by many to be the greatest dramatist of all time. Some of his plays, such as Hamlet and Romeo and Juliet, are among the most famous literary works of the world. His plays were written in Elizabethan times. During this time plays were not regarded as literature, the plays were written at speed (often by more than one writer), they were perhaps performed 10 or 12 times and then were discarded. Romeo and Juliet written in 1599 is a romantic play between 'A pair of star-crossed lovers' fated to be together from first sight, however they have difficulties in staying together as they come from two noble families in Verona who don't get on very well with each other which effects their love. William Shakespeare has shown many different types of love in the play Romeo & Juliet, He has shown spiritual love; he describes Romeo and Juliet 'star-crossed lovers' (prologue line 6), he is showing us that they are fated together and nothing can separate them. Passionate love is also used in the play as each family, the Montague's and the Capulet's look out for their family members to the point where they pay with their life. Shakespeare also introduces courtly love, for example Romeo's love for Rosaline. ...read more.

Middle

Love is a very passionate theme in the play, it is easily evident at the beginning of Act 1 Scene 3, for example Juliet responds to her nurse first before she does to her mother. It suggests that Juliet's nurse loves her deeply. The reason for this is because the nurse used to have a daughter who sadly passed away, she was named Susan. The nurse regards Juliet as her own daughter and cares and loves her just like her own. In Act 1, scene 3, line 14 we find out that Juliet is not fourteen, Juliet's mother quotes "She's not fourteen" it tells us that she simply isn't fourteen and much younger. Further on in the scene Juliet's mother says to her daughter that she should consider marrying Paris the young nobleman and kinsman to the prince. She quotes "Well think of marriage younger than you, Here in Verona, ladies of esteem are made already mothers", (Act 1, scene 3, line 70 -71), it gives us an impression that she is trying to persuade her daughter to marry at quite an early age to a rich family of whom they like. This gives us the idea that in the Elizabethan society girls were married of at a young age to who their family thought was appropriate for them. So they had arranged marriages, which make the reader believe that women did not have a say in their life. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo tells Tybalt that he has to love thee, because he knows that he loves and has married Juliet. It creates a sense of dramatic irony as Tybalt doesn't know about Romeo and Juliet's marriage and their loving relationship even though they are the children of enemy families. Overall I thought that the story was enjoyable and quite tense. I would recommend the play to other people who would like to read it. Overall I found it quite straight forward and did not have a problem understanding its messages towards life. If it wasn't for Shakespeare the world might have been a completely different place in terms of love. I believe Shakespeare has portrayed the types of love in a good manner and which can be easily understood. The fact that it is a tragedy as well as a comic at times makes the play more interesting. This is a good way of getting the audiences attention and understanding of the play as it is ironic in terms of love, however, the ending does make the audience become quiet and sad as it is very tragic and in today's world we are free to love who we want and to do what we want without the interruption of family. We can see human freedom has come a long way compared to Shakespeare's time, and the rights of women have changed completely. Women have the choice to make their own decisions. ...read more.

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