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Explore the theme of love in 'Romeo and Juliet'

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Introduction

'Romeo and Juliet' is a play written in the 16th century by William Shakespeare. The play is about love and is based around two rival families, each wanting power over the other. The two families (the Capulets and the Montagues) each have just one child. The Capulets have a young daughter called Juliet and the Montagues have a son called Romeo. The two children fall in love at soon as they lay eyes on each other, a reminder of John Clare's poem 'First Love'. 'First Love' is a poem about love at first sight. Both the poem and the play portray love at first sight in the way that they have the effect that time stands still when they are thinking, speaking or looking at the girl/woman that they have fell in love with. The play was written in the 16th century and the poem was written in the 17th, therefore they are similar in some ways as things had not changed much between the two centuries and they are written in a similar way. They are both in a male perspective but 'Romeo and Juliet' show a mutual love, whereas in 'First Love' it is just one sided. There is a lot of love portrayed in the play; the first shown is lust. Romeo thinks he is in love with Rosaline but really it is just an infatuation. ...read more.

Middle

There is a distinct lack of this love shown. This is shown when Romeo dies for Juliet showing that he would choose her over his family 'I will stay with thee, and never from this palace of dim night depart again' saying that he won't ever leave Juliet and he doesn't even give a thought for his family. Romeo gives the impression that he has tried very hard not to confide in his parents about Rosaline and then Juliet. There seems to be a lack of communication between Lord and Lady Montague and Romeo. It is also shown between Lord and Lady Capulet and Juliet, especially when Lord Capulet forces Juliet to marry Paris at the threat of disownment. This also shows that his love for Juliet is not unconditional as it should be between father and daughter. Fraternal love is also shown in the play. Romeo is very close to Friar Lawrence and trusts him. Romeo proved how much he trusts Friar Lawrence when he got married as he asked Friar Lawrence to act as priest. This shows Romeo trusts him because Romeo and Juliet are supposed to be enemies and their relationship needs to be kept a secret. Friar Lawrence doesn't approve of the marriage at first but then he decides that if they get married it may turn the Capulets and Montagues hate into love. ...read more.

Conclusion

The other type of love in the play is the love of power. This is shown throughout the play, mainly by the two families. Each family wants power over the other and have been fighting for years, shown for example in Act 1, Scene 1 where a group of men from each family are arguing and one says to the other, "Draw if you be men" showing that whoever fights the best and wins is the better man. The other love of power shown is Romeo and Juliet wanting power over their own lives, shown when they keep their love and marriage a secret. However, Lord and Lady Montague feel they have power over Romeo and Lord and Lady Capulet have power over Juliet, which is shown when they force her to marry Paris. The last type of power shown is by the police. The policeman tells the two families that if they don't stop fighting then he will banish them. This shows a love of power as he has power over them and will use it against them to keep his country law abiding. To conclude, the play 'Romeo and Juliet' is based around love but turns into a tragedy. There are many different types of love presented in the play and they are not all good. The play proves how much two people can love each other and shows that you shouldn't let a love of power take over your life. Kathryn Snowden 10:01 English Mrs Haase/ Mr Bourke ...read more.

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