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Discuss the various forms of love that are present in Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".

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Discuss the various forms of love that are present in Shakespeare's ""Romeo and Juliet"". Many people say that "Romeo and Juliet" is the greatest love story ever told, this is due to "Romeo and Juliet" being the most famous love story told. At first glance people consider the to be a Romantic love story, but really the play has various aspects of love not just one. I on the other hand appreciate "Romeo and Juliet" to be a story about violence and the pursuit to end violence, even the prologue is full of violent and negative language "ancient grudge," "civil blood," "fatal lions," "death- marked," "rage." But also has words reflecting on what the play in considered to be about, love "star crossed lovers." Because of the prologue you already know that this is going to be a love story with trouble, worry and violence in it. The first reference to an element of love in "Romeo and Juliet", after the Prologue, is sexual language and therefore lustful love, not romantic. The first two characters that Shakespeare introduces to the audience are Sampson and Gregory, these two characters are servants of the two households, the Montagues, and Capulets. ...read more.


Virginity was important because it made a woman more valuable, a 'purer product'. Lady Capulet was married this way and it appeared to the audience that her relationship with Lord Capulet was awful. He was the head of family and was considered all-powerful. At this time females were expected to be obedient and dutiful. When we first meet Juliet she acts obedient in this way and she always does what she is told and always acts with great courtesy "Madam, I am here. What is your will?" But her attitude changes when she meets Romeo because it is love at first sight and she doesn't act like her normal self. Shakespeare's attitude to this is that she has been ' how women were supposed to be' her life and now that she has met Romeo he has corrupted her. It was usual in most plays for an arranged husband character, in this case Paris, to be offensive, and bad-tempered; but he is actually a particularly pleasant person. Shakespeare complicates things like this because he becomes a worthy love rival for Juliet. A lot of characters use very bawdy language with verbal references to sex rather than a physical attraction. ...read more.


The friar being a religious man believes that sex is a sacrament, and ensures Romeo and Juliet are married before they sleep together, and have sex. He is well intentioned but misuses the sacrament of marriage for political gain, as it is his attempt to cure the feud between the two households. This is an example of healing love, for it was Romeo and Juliet's love for each other that ended the feud. Therefore we can deduct that the main aspect of love isn't romantic love, but it is healing love, as it closes the play, and ends the ancient feud. However it came at a cost, the friar's moderately selfish acts lead to the premature death of both Romeo and Juliet. Shakespeare presents various forms of love in "Romeo and Juliet", but I feel that the most important aspects of love, which are in the play, are Healing and Familial love. I believe this as they structure the play, and cause many of the characters to make decisions which they wouldn't usually do, if they weren't effected be these forms of love. Therefore the love presented in the play must be far richer than at first glance, making "Romeo and Juliet" a greater story, when read in depth, and understanding. ...read more.

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