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Explore the different representations of love in 'Romeo and Juliet' commenting on how Shakespeare makes use of this theme

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Explore the different representations of love in 'Romeo and Juliet' commenting on how Shakespeare makes use of this theme There are lots of different representations of love in Romeo and Juliet. I think that Shakespeare chose to have so many representations of love against a background of hate to show the many types of love and to show that in the end love conquers hate. He uses so many different types of love to explore the nature of love. He contrasts and compares the different types of love with each other and with hate to help us identify the different types of love and to see how they relate. 'Romeo and Juliet' is famous for Shakespeare's representation of the romantic love felt between Romeo and Juliet. But there are other types of love in the play such as the love between families or friends. The play is also about hate as well as love. We are always reminded of the hate between the two families and we see how this affects the town and the people in it. This theme would be very poignant and interesting to the people in Shakespeare's time because they were scared of civil war. Nevertheless love is still a very strong theme in Romeo and Juliet. We see lots of different views and representations of love in this play but the only true or real love shown in the play is the love between Romeo and Juliet. I think Shakespeare chooses to do this to show us the strength of their love. The nurse as well as Gregory, Sampson and Mercutio talk a great deal about sexual love and their views of the roles of men and women. In the first scene between Gregory and Sampson, Sampson says he will cut off the heads of the maids 'or their maidenheads' meaning their virginity. And they brag about themselves, Sampson says he is a 'pretty piece of flesh' and Gregory says 'thou hadst been poor John' which is insulting Sampson's virility. ...read more.


So within a very short time of meeting him she offers herself to him. If we compare this to the way Juliet was acting before the party when she says 'no more deep will I endart mine eye than your consent gives strength to make it fly', we would know that she is obedient and we would not have thought she seemed like someone to throw herself at any man. So we know she must feel strongly about Romeo. And we know that Romeo also feels strongly about Juliet and they prove this by marrying each other. At the end Juliet risks her life by taking the remedy that makes her sleep but may end up killing her. And when Romeo hears Juliet is dead he plans to commit suicide and then they both take their own lives because they can never be together. This proves how much they love each other and the strength of their love. And it also indicates that they have no concept of the strength and the overpowering nature of true love until they fall in love with each other. This type of love represented is the true love between a man and a woman. Shakespeare wrote about this in his sonnets, for example he wrote a sonnet about the love between 'true minds'. So this was obviously a theme that Shakespeare wrote a lot about. Another representation of love is the love that Paris has for Juliet. This again is not real love because throughout the play Paris and Juliet barely speak so therefore he cannot truly love her. But he has genuine feelings for her and he likes her and is attracted to her. And he asks lord Capulet for her hand in marriage so he is obviously eager to be with her, this is proved by him saying 'my lord, I would that Thursday were tomorrow' when Lord Capulet says they will marry on Thursday. ...read more.


Someone who is like family to Juliet but is not related is the nurse. The nurse loves Juliet and Juliet loves the nurse. It is kind of like a motherly love because the nurse bought Juliet up and was like a mother to her. And the nurse seems very proud of Juliet because she tells lots of little embarrassing stories about when Juliet was little and Lady Capulet and Juliet can't get her to stop. Lady Capulet says 'hold thy peace' and she still carries on. And you can tell that the nurse would do a lot for Juliet and Juliet can trust her because she is told about Juliet's secret relationship with Romeo and the nurse tries to help Juliet. And you can tell Juliet is fond of the nurse because she says 'good sweet nurse', 'sweet, sweet, sweet nurse' and 'honest nurse'. And even when the nurse upsets Juliet by saying Paris is better than Romeo 'I think you are happy in this second match, for it excels your first' she only has Juliet's best interests at heart because Paris is a good man. The nurse does not understand Juliet's feelings for Romeo and therefore doesn't know how Juliet feels, so even though she encourages the match with Paris this doesn't mean she loves Juliet any less. And when Juliet is supposedly dead the nurse seems distraught saying things like 'O lamentable day' and 'O woe!' Overall there are many different types of love in the play. There is love between friends, families and men and women, even if sometimes it isn't true love. And even though this play is largely about hate I think the theme of love overrides this because the love is stronger than the hate and eventually helps them to overcome the hate. And also the love is between many different people and in many different forms and representations. This shows the power of real love, it dominates all the other types of love and this is shown through Shakespeare's use of comparing and contrasting the different types of love against a background of hate. ...read more.

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