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Explore the different types of love in William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'.

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Introduction

Explore the different types of love in William Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'. In 'Romeo and Juliet' there are many different types of love expressed between characters. The audience witnesses sexual, parental, friendship and formal love among Shakespeare's characters. The main love story line is of a 'true' love from Romeo and Juliet. The play also contains other smaller story lines between other individuals who share a love for one another. The prologue tells us that this play will take us through many forms of love. It starts the play telling the audience of the "fearful passage of their death-marked love". This tells us right from the beginning that it is going to be a tragic play where "star-crossed lovers take their life". This is referring to Romeo and Juliet's love, and how their desire for one another is the cause of their death. This makes the audience intrigued to know why their love is so strong. After the prologue Romeo is talking with Benvolio, his friend, in a dreamy, irrational way. Romeo is speaking in rhyme throughout this scene. He says, "Love is a smoke made with the fume of sighs, Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes". ...read more.

Middle

Their love for one another is almost like father and son. As Romeo is not close to his birth father he turns to Friar Lawrence for advice. When they speak they talk in rhyme together when Romeo tells him he has "been feasting with mine enemy, where on a sudden one hath wounded me". This portrays the fact that Romeo feels like he can trust Friar Lawrence with his secrets. It also shows that they are so close they can talk in rhyme collectively. Mercutio and Romeo love each other greatly on a friendship basis. This is best shown when Tybalt comes to fight Romeo. Romeo chooses not to fight Tybalt telling him the reason being he "loves thee better than thou canst devise". This shows that by loving Juliet Romeo is accepting her family. This is dramatic irony, as only Romeo knows about the wedding. This angers Mercutio as Tybalt calls Romeo a "villain". Romeo tries to protect his friend but Mercutio gets stabbed. This may not be showing love for Romeo, as often Mercutio is just angling for a fight. Benvolio wants to look after Mercutio knowing what he is like, he tells Mercutio they should leave or they may not " scape a brawl". ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare uses a great deal of different types of language to show the diverse types of love that are experienced in different relationships. Shakespeare uses oxymorons when his characters are in love. Romeo talks of "bright smoke" and "cold fire". This could show the fact that he is confused by love and it makes him seem irrational. In Act 3 Scene 2 Juliet also uses oxymorons to describe Romeo: "beautiful tyrant" and "fiend angelical". This is possibly for the same reason as Romeo; she is mystified by her love. The writer also uses a vast amount of poetry including sonnets. This is because sonnets are traditionally written about love. This gives 'Romeo and Juliet' the traditional atmosphere of a Shakespearean love story. If we explore the different types of love in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet' we can see that a catastrophe is going to be the outcome of all the love. In this play love destroys the lives of Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio and Tybalt; as a consequence of love they're all now dead. In Verona the main emotion is the Capulets' and Montagues' hate towards each because of an "ancient grudge". This is an exceedingly big contrast to the main love story line between the great enemies. In the end the 'love' eventually buries the hate. ...read more.

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