• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

How does Shakespeare explore the theme of love in Rome & Juliet?

Extracts from this document...


How does Shakespeare explore the theme of love in Rome & Juliet? The central theme of Romeo and Juliet is love. Although Shakespeare explores many themes throughout the play such as hatred (of the two families), violence (that occurs between them) and murder (when Romeo kills Tybalt), love is outwardly the dominant and most significant theme because the entire play is based upon a relationship between two people. At the time of Shakespeare, A couple wouldn't marry just because of love. Arranged marriages were very usual for wealthy and prosperous families (e.g. Montague and Capulet). Arranged marriages would secure their wealth and there allegiance. In Shakespeare's time, people would marry at very young ages (i.e. Juliet who got married at the age of 13), which helps to elucidate the unusual nature of love. A prologue introduces the story in the form of a sonnet (14 lines of poetry), which is split into 3 sections and usually ends in a rhyming couplet (attend...mend). It gives a synopsis of the play. The Antithesis between love and hate pervades Romeo and Juliet, fixed in the action, Juxtaposition of certain scenes and recurrent use of oxymoron. The prologue is a prime example of Antithesis. Line 1 says: "Two households, both alike in dignity". This first line describes the two families being as noble and dignified as each other. Line 6-7 says: "A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows". These lines imply that a boy from a family and a girl from a different family fall in love but ill-fated tragic calamity overthrows into catastrophic deaths. ...read more.


Tybalt has excessive detestation and abhorrence for the Montague's. Romeo says: "I do protest I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou can'st devise. Till thou shalt know the reason of my love". Romeo feels that his marriage to Juliet (A Capulet) has made him a member of Tybalt's family but Tybalt clearly disagrees because of his tremendous family loyalty . This is another example of family relationships that Shakespeare has explored. In Act 1 Scene 3, Lady Capulet commends Paris and gives Juliet influential and convincing causes for marrying him. Juliet ends up considering Paris as a probable husband. Lady Capulet says: "Read o'er the volume of young Paris' face". Lady Capulet speaks high of Paris as she tries persuading Juliet to marry Paris. She uses words like "young" and "volume". This is an example of an extended metaphor. Paris has deep feeling for Juliet but lacks the passion that animates Romeo. Friar Laurence is a kind-hearted cleric who helps Romeo and Juliet throughout the play. He is the sole figure of religion in the play. Shakespeare here uses paternal and fatherly love. He marries Romeo and Juliet as part of a plan to end the civil strife in Verona. He devises a plan to reunite Romeo and Juliet using sleep potion. Friar Lawrence is clearly trying to aid Romeo and Juliet. The Friar says: "Come, come with me, and we will make short work; For, by your leaves, you shall not stay alone". Not only as the Friar shown interest in helping but has also shown love for Romeo. This is because he hides Romeo in his cell and advises them frequently. ...read more.


The play ends in a very dramatic and shocking way, which creates a tremendous impact on the audience mainly because the two victims who love each other deeply end up being victims of death. I think that at the end of the play, the audience would feel sympathetic for the two lovers as well as stunned to how everything happened so quick. I think that this play has become a classic play across the world because it is a very symbolic play and shows the true meaning of deep love. It helps people to understand fate and what love can do. But overall, I think that people don't usually expect such a dramatic and sudden end to the main characters. In ordinary plays, the main characters usually live on where in Romeo and Juliet, they both die. I get the impression that love is the seventeenth century was much more diverse than love nowadays. Love was usually something that builds up during a relationship that had started at a very young age. Wealthy people would marry other wealthy people to secure their wealth and reputation therefore marriage wasn't always in the name of love. In my personal opinion, I think that Shakespeare tries to subconsciously tell us that love that is too passionate or too deep can lead into disasters. He tries to tell us not to love too much and keep it controlled. Shakespeare does a very good job in making his message very straightforward and direct. He could have just let the characters split up for ever but he decided to end the play in death emphasizing his point. But ultimately, I think that love has mended the hate, bringing the families to a point reflection and reconciliation. Ali Hammuda Top of Form ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Romeo and Juliet section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Romeo and Juliet essays

  1. Analyse the character of Tybalt and explore his role in the play 'Romeo and ...

    Having his infatuation for Rosaline we know that the previous quote cannot be true. After hearing Tybalt's complaints Lord Capulet retorts; '...Verona brags of him To be a virtuous and well governed youth.' We can deduce from this that Tybalt is exaggerating this intrusion if even Lord Capulet can compliment his greatest enemy's son.

  2. How does Shakespeare explore the idea of love in Romeo and Juliet?

    feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health..." That Romeo can express extreme emotions for a woman he has never met and barely knows shows his immaturity and that he has potential of sharing a much deeper real love, witch he later finds with Juliet. It also shows how stupid Romeo has been acting while under the influence

  1. Shakespeare's play: 'Romeo and Juliet' is more about violence than love

    The first thing Romeo says after seeing Juliet is "If I profane with my unworthiest hand this holy shrine, the gentle sin is this, my lips two blushing pilgrims ready stand to smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss."

  2. Discuss the different types of love shown in romeo and juliet.

    I think he also wants to prove to Romeo and Juliet that they have a friend in him and wants them to know that they can come to him with any problem, whatever their parents say.

  1. Views of love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.

    As already mentioned above, I suppose that the marriage of Juliet's parents was an arranged one due to the fact that Lady Capulet tells Juliet "I was your mother much upon these years That you are now a maid." (I, iii, 72-73)

  2. Explain How the Theme of Conflict is Explored in Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'

    The Prologue also adds some dramatic irony to the play as now the audience is aware of what will happen and the characters do not. Act 1, scene 1 portrays the continuing theme of conflict well. It immediately draws the audience in and gets their attention.

  1. Outline the Development of Romeo's Character from Love-sick Callowness to Determined Passion

    The audience will think he has got the wrong idea of love because he describes love as things not typically described as love such as sickness. 'Bid a sick man in sadness to make his will A word ill-urged to on one that is still...'

  2. Examine the theme of motherly love in Romeo and Juliet through the relationship Juliet ...

    Lady Capulet is not interested in the nurses reminiscences 'I pray for thee hold thy peace' the nurse cannot and continues to talk fondly of Juliet's Infancy. This shows Lady Capulet does not care about any doubts the nurse has for Juliet and just does not care.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work