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How Does Shakespeare Deal With the Themes of Love and Hate In Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How Does Shakespeare Deal With the Themes of Love and Hate In Romeo and Juliet? Shakespeare deals with the themes of love and hate very effectively, by using, different language, sonnets and emotions sometimes expressing them by the use of soliloquies. One could say, Shakespeare adopted these strong ideas from the Greeks of the fourth century. Greeks often performed plays known as, ' tragedies', where the tempting of fates or Gods was a wrongdoing. Therefore whoever did wrong would pay sooner or later. This idea can be reflected in Romeo and Juliet. Right at the beginning of the play the chorus recites a sonnet. It frames the story- line and prepares the audience for a tragic play by using adjectives, quatrains and links (patterns) to the play. 'From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life: Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.' As you can see the idea of 'fate' is being used and it also clearly outlines that the love of the two characters with their tragic deaths ended the hatred of the two families. Also the hate of the families ended the love of the two characters due to the lovers death. Shakespeare begins the first scene of the play with hatred by using dramatic language and insults. However, the play soon moves on towards the theme of love, which contrasts well with the hatred. Shakespeare liked to switch from love to hate or hate to love to shoe how close the two elements are and how they run in parallel together. ...read more.

Middle

dancers broken by the intolerance of Tybalt; ' God shall mend my soul, You'll make a mutiny among my guests, You will set cock-a-hoop, you'll be the man!' Here, once again Shakespeare uses insults to express the theme of hate. Tybalt exits with a strong worded speech; ' this intrusion shall Now seeming sweet, convert to bitterest gall.' Tybalt threatens vengeance and uses the name 'Montague' like it is an evil substance rather than an identity. Shakespeare shows how just the identity of a man can cause friction. As well as this, Tybalt tempts fate, which would suggest Shakespeare's study (the Greeks of the fourth century) is being used. When Tybalt leaves, the atmosphere of hatred changes back to the dreamy, love atmosphere when Romeo meets Juliet... Shakespeare uses a soliloquy to express Romeo and Juliet's feelings for one another. The soliloquy represents something new and fresh, problems and the nature of the love they have for each other. It is shared between them, which connects with how close they feel together and how equally in love they are. At the time, sonnets were very popular and were traditionally used to represent love and religion. This reflects onto Romeo and Juliet like most sonnets are used throughout all Shakespeare's tragic plays. The lines spoken by Romeo and Juliet are very short which might relate to either nervousness or once again the dreamy atmosphere present which makes no need for them to talk for true love comes over them. ...read more.

Conclusion

It suggests the equality and emotions of love in a serious, mature way. It is thought to represent true love or speaking about the essence of love (like the chorus, at the beginning of Act 1 and Act 2.) Also to note is the fact that in all Shakespeare's 'tragedies' towards the end, something leads to the main character's death(s). One could say that the Greeks of the fourth century influenced Shakespeare on plays of tragedy for he, he studied them. As you can see, a typical tragedy needs to have some sort of opposition and contrasts, such as love and hate. Love and hate are so very close in Romeo and Juliet and contradict each other. Such as Act one scene five, where hate (insults from Tybalt) contradicts with love (Romeo falling in love with Juliet.) Not only would the text be written with strong language, but it would have been recited in a way that would make a strong sense of love or hate. Hate and Love are sometimes treated as 'Names' like 'a Montague' or 'a Capulet' this causes confusion, especially between Romeo and Juliet. The name Montague or Capulet has also occasionally been spoken as if the identities are evil substances. This causes edginess and hateful atmospheres. All the structure of the play is built around love and hate, including all the themes and contrasts. Shakespeare uses this structure to deal with the themes of love and hate which creates a typical tragedy-'Romeo and Juliet.' Shakespeare liked to switch from love to hate or hate to love to shoe how close the two elements are and how they run in parallel together. ...read more.

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