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Explore the themes of love & conflict in 'Romeo & Juliet'.

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Introduction

In this essay I am going to explore the themes of love & conflict in 'Romeo & Juliet'. These themes occur often throughout the play. They are an important aspect of Shakespeare's work, as I will know show you, & the play would not be the same without them. I will start by summarizing the play. William Shakespeare was born in 16th century England, on the 23rd of April 1564. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon in Warwickshire. Shakespeare was a very famous poet & playwright. During his life he produced 37 plays, 'two gentlemen of Verona' being the first. He is regarded as one of the best English writers of all time. 'Romeo & Juliet' remains one of his most popular plays & was written in around 1597. During Elizabethan times when Shakespeare was alive things were done much differently than compared with today. For example, teenagers & especially girls were treated completely differently. A girl like Juliet wouldn't have been able to go out by herself & she wouldn't have gone to school. As well as this a girl in Juliet's position would have had her husband chosen for her, as is shown in 'Romeo & Juliet'. Parents had such strict ideas about what their children should be like that Juliet's father would rather totally disown her than let her be with a man other than Paris. Romeo & Juliet is about two lovers who strive to be together despite the obstacles that are put in their path by both of their families. ...read more.

Middle

Near the beginning of the play the nurse goes to meet Romeo & arranges the marriage for that day, light is linked with daytime & the two lovers are 'happy' at that point because they are to get married. After the lovers have consummated their marriage they feel sorrow when the light starts to come in through the window, as it means Romeo must leave. 'Quickly, go; let light in & let life out' You can see how Romeo & Juliet are mislead in thinking that their relationship is simply black & white, because Throughout the play a variety of different views on love are expressed through several different characters. One of them being Mercutio, who is a key character in the play. Who provides a humorous, but rough, attitude to love. His jokes are mostly crude and insulting, & throughout the scenes we see him in he makes jokes at the expense of Romeo, the nurse, and Tybalt. He sees love as an excuse to aggravate & insult people. In a few of his scenes he is shown insulting Romeo for his love of Rosaline, for example in Act 2 Scene 1. Mercutio is calling out to an imaginary Romeo, thinking Romeo had gone, using language that would infuriate him. He pretends to conjure up Romeo as if he were a spirit, by making a mockery of his feelings for Rosaline. "The ape is dead, and I must conjure him. I conjure thee by Rosaline's bright eyes By her high forehead and her scarlet lip, By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, And the demesnes that there adjacent lie." ...read more.

Conclusion

The main opposition in 'Romeo and Juliet' is love and hate. During the play love & conflict are used, but you could not have one without the other. This is because each theme is used to push the other along for example in Act 3 Scene 1. Romeo & Juliet have just been married & Romeo arrives on the scene to see Tybalt provoking Mercutio, Tybalt then declares he wants to fight with Romeo. 'Here comes my man ' Romeo says he will not fight, this is because he now regards Tybalt as family & his love for Juliet stops him from fighting, which leads to conflict when Mercutio steps in for Romeo. However, Tybalt kills Mercutio & Romeo then kills Tybalt in order to avenge the death of his friend. 'Tybalt lies 'ere slain, whom Romeo's hand did slay'. The theme of conflict plays as big a part as that of love. Although it is love which first brings Romeo & Juliet together, it is the conflict between the two feuding families which pulls them apart & is the other factor which leads to the end tragedy. This concludes my essay on the 'themes of love & conflict'. These two themes are an important part of 'Romeo & Juliet'. Many, if not all, of the events have either, or both, of the two themes to trigger it off. If one of these aspects of 'Romeo & Juliet' were missing the end result would definitely be different, & you should be able to see this by taking into account the examples which I have given throughout. ...read more.

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