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Discuss the various ideas of love in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

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Daniel Roll´┐Ż Discuss the various ideas of love in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. There are many ideas of love expressed in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, and each of them shown through a different character. The plays enduring popularity stems from the fact that its main theme is love and the way it is used to comment upon society, culture and the ways of love at the time. The first kind of love addressed is Petrarchan, or Courtly love, a stylised, conventional view of love, as shown by our first meeting with Romeo. Ay me, sad hours seem long. Was that my father that went hence so fast? (I.1.155-56) Romeo is bound to Rosaline his non-existent love interest and he shows all the Petrarchan-style emotions, such as a dreamy look upon his face and a melancholy demeanour. She is too fair, too wise, wisely too fair, To merit bliss by making me despair. She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow Do I live dead, that live to tell it now (I.1.215-219) Romeo's descriptions of Rosaline show how he idolises her and this is typical of Petrarchan lovers. Romeo conveys his state of mind with such oxymorons as brawling love, and loving hate as well as heavy lightness and serious vanity. ...read more.


yet she is faced with the prospect of having to take up the role of wife and, potentially mother, with a man she does not love. Faced with this added complication it is not surprising that Juliet chooses death over life, O happy dagger...let me die. (V .3. 169-71). This shows that sexuality can become almost fatal and drive people to their deaths. The sexual triangle of Romeo, Juliet and Paris all collapses as each of them die by the end of the play. The bawdy world of sex is very much a part of life on the streets of Verona and in private conversations of the Capulets. Against this is placed the unrivalled sexual 'awakening' of the inexperienced Romeo and Juliet- a relationship shrouded in innocence and intensity. Romeo and Juliet's relationship represents the third type of love: True love. True love is the type of love that Shakespeare uses to describe Romeo and Juliet's love. It is not as superficial as Petrarchan love, whilst it does have some of the concepts associated with it. Juliet plays along with this way of love, which was socially accepted, when she playfully resists Romeos kisses at the Capulet ball: Then have my lips the sin that they have took. ...read more.


The point that Shakespeare is trying to make is that it is true love that gives Romeo and Juliet a special and almost magical relationship, and in the end it is their intense longing to be together that makes them united in death. I feel the best kind of love is true love. As Romeo and Juliet's relationship shows, it is the only 'real' kind of love: Paris' formal and romantic love is the most false and the Sexual love, as shown by the Nurse and Mercutio, is too shallow. Friar Lawrence, showing it is holy, blesses Romeo and Juliet's relationship. Their relationship also shows that it should not matter who the person is or where they come from. The fact that the two lovers are meant to be enemies is irrelevant in their eyes, and this is how all love should be. They defy social constraints and the feud of their two families to be together: Juliet refuses to marry a man she does not love and Romeo chooses to marry his mortal enemy. The fact that both Romeo and Juliet were willing to give up their lives for one another symbolizes the pureness and deepness of their love I will kiss thy lips; Haply some poison yet doth hang on them, to make me die with a restorative. (V. 3. 164-66) ...read more.

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