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Examine the different views of love presented in 'Romeo and Juliet'. In what way is the play about love in a richer sense than we may at first suppose?

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Introduction

Examine the different views of love presented in 'Romeo and Juliet'. In what way is the play about love in a richer sense than we may at first suppose? 'Romeo and Juliet' is a play about the fate of the two "star-crossed lovers," who eventually take their own lives, due to their strong love for each other, coupled with a grave misunderstanding. It is set in the city of Verona during the Renaissance, times which are a great contrast to this modern era, particularly in the matter of love. In the plays of the Renaissance era they only recruited males to play parts in the plays. We know this from watching the film "Shakespeare in Love", which showed they recruited only men to play the parts of female characters. Therefore the part of Juliet and Lady Capulet and Lady Montague were played by men, which would change the way in which the play was seen dramatically, to the audience. A major contrast between this modern era and the Renaissance would be the fact that marriage was, in many upper class cases, a matter of material love, such as the love for the woman's fortune or beauty. Many women likewise married the man her family chose for her because of his wealth. Today, no matter what class a person is in; marriage normally takes place because of mutual love. When people marry for materialistic reasons they are looked down upon in society. But in Shakespeare's day it was perfectly customary to marry a person just for selfish reasons. We can see this materialistic type of approach when Capulet says of his daughter, "Is she not proud? ...read more.

Middle

The nurse on the other hand understands that Juliet loves Romeo and arranges the secret wedding. She goes to great lengths to find Romeo, although she herself feels that, "Paris is the properer man," for her charge to marry, "When I say so, she looks as pale as any clout in the versal world." She also displays her maternal love by simply knowing and understanding more about Juliet's life than Juliet herself knows about it. Romeo and Mercutio's love for each other is platonic love. This is for the obvious fact that there is no romance involved in their love but they are still extremely close to each other. Romeo goes so far as to kill Tybalt for the death of his friend Mercutio. This care that they had for one another is great. Mercutio gets very frustrated when Romeo is in love with Rosaline because he knows that this love is not real and he wants the best for Romeo. He asks Romeo, "Why is not this better than growing for love?" Without being blood related or in some sort of relationship, we believe that Romeo and Mercutio's love for each other is the strongest love portrayed through the whole of the play. Mercutio wants Romeo to be with him more, and not with Rosaline. Mercutio knows that Romeo is in a mournful state of being and desires that Romeo be cured from his love sickness, which is doing no good for the both of them. This is real friendship displayed by Mercutio, towards his lost friend Romeo. In contrast there is a type of lustful love known as bawdy or sexual love. ...read more.

Conclusion

This shows us that Romeo romantic love for his wife has risen above the realm material things, nothing, even life itself matters no more to Romeo. Romeo did not know that Juliet was just sleeping. He goes to her deathbed and drinks the poison and falls dead. Juliet awakes shortly afterwards to find Romeo dead and inserts a dagger into herself. Instead of death parting them though, Romeo and Juliet believe that it will keep them together, " I still will stay with thee, and never from this palace of dim night depart again. Here, here, will I remain..." The tragedy does not end on a sad note despite the death of the two main characters. For people watching this play for this first time may not realise the rich sense of love, which is contained in the play. We have seen this deep of love, which has been shown to the audience. In the romantic love between the "two star crossed lovers" and in the platonic love between Romeo and Mercutio, and also in the maternal love between Juliet and the Nurse. There are many other types of loves as well that play a large role throughout the play. We see that love is very powerful and can end in many different ways. In less that a week the ancient grudge that had been held between the two houses is broken because of the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, when Capulet says, "Oh brother Montague give me thy hand." The love of Romeo and Juliet mends the grudge and the families live on in peace. The families still have learnt that the love of material things is not as important as true and pure love and build a statue of Romeo and Juliet in remembrance of them. 1 ...read more.

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