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Explore the dramatic presentation of love in Romeo and Juliet(TM)

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Introduction

In the Prologue of 'Romeo and Juliet' we are immediately introduced to the theme of love that runs throughout the play. "Two star-crossed lovers". Shakespeare introduces us to various types of love, portrayed through different character relationships. For instance, we see conventional love through Romeo and Rosaline and the idea of the Patrachan lover, romantic and sexual love, which is seen between Romeo and Juliet and, finally, parental love, portrayed in Capulet and Lady Capulet and Juliet. We also see love from a more cynical view, through Mercutio. In 'Romeo and Juliet' two characters primarily link love and sex. They are the Nurse and Mercutio. At the mentioning of love these two people always talk about sex. This can be seen mainly in Act 1 Scene 4, and how Mercutio thinks about love. At this point in the play Romeo is very distant and unhappy, Mercutio uses this as an opportunity to try and humour Romeo, using wit, sexual innuendo and imagery. "O'er ladies lips, whos straight on kisses dream". He uses more sexual innuendo throughout the play when the subject of love is mentioned. This is also seen when discussing Rosaline outside Capulet's mansion. He uses sexual images, for example, "Quivering thigh". This suggests a cynical attitude towards love, as he is never heard to mention non-sexual attributes when talking about a woman. ...read more.

Middle

We instantly see a change in Romeo, who at the beginning is very unhappy. At the sight of Juliet he completely forgets about Rosaline. "Before this night I have never seen true beauty". This substantiates the idea that he was not truly in love with Rosaline. Although, they are truly in love Romeo still takes the role of the Patrachan lover and elevates Juliet above what she could possibly be. Romeo continues to comment on her beauty right up the time when he thinks that she is dead. "Death.../hath no power yet upon thy beauty". This shows how deep convention is rooted in Romeo, that even when he is truly in love he still takes the role of the courtly lover. On their first meeting Shakespeare makes them share a sonnet. The sonnet was traditionally used to write love poetry. The face that they share the sonnet suggests their compatibility. They use religious images, which elevates their love. "Juliet: and palm to palm is holy palmer's kiss./Romeo: have not saints' lips and holy palmers too?" This sonnet immediately displays to the audience their intellectual and emotional suitability. This suggests their love is associated with God and intended by Him. Juliet uses these metaphors to test Romeo's feelings for her, and he understands the subtlety of what she really means. ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Romeo also drastically changes in this scene because he knows that if he stays he'll never be able to see her again. "I must be gone and will than stay and die". He is rational because he knows of the danger. But later he becomes irrational again and decides to stay. However, Juliet comes to her senses against at the thought of her love being in danger and tells him to leave. At the end of the play we can see how deep rooted the couples love is and we see Juliet's willingness to do anything for Romeo. When the future of their love is threatened Juliet decides to take a potentially dangerous potion to see him. Ultimately she is dubious as to the safety of the plan and she articulates this in her soliloquy. "Seeking out Romeo did that spit his body/...Romeo! Here's drink - I drink to thee!" However, by mentioning Romeo she remembers how she feels about him and this spurs her on. Her love drove her to carry out the plan despite her doubts. This shows the sincerity of her feelings, as other relationships in the entirety of the play never go as deep to risk their life for a lover. ?? ?? ?? ?? Explore the dramatic presentation of love in 'Romeo and Juliet' by Rachel Hooper ...read more.

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Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

4 star(s)

There are some good points made in this essay that could be developed to further link different parts of the play. Useful textual references are identified but at times they could be explained in more detail, particularly when making comparisons between characters.

4 Stars

Marked by teacher Laura Gater 06/06/2013

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