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How Does Shakespeare Present Love and Hate In Act One, Scene One And Scene Five?

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How Does Shakespeare Present Love and Hate In Act One, Scene One And Scene Five? Love and hate are key themes in Shakespeare's epic tragedy 'Romeo and Juliet'. Shakespeare uses the combination of these themes mixed with comedy to ensure that the play is aimed at the diverse Elizabethan audiences. Shakespeare uses these contrasting genres to create tension in the performance and to hint to the ending result of the play, this creates dramatic irony. These themes are focused on from the opening of the play in the Prologue. The prologue introduces the play, and tells the audience of an 'ancient feud' between two families in Verona. Two lovers, one from each family, commit suicide after trying to run away from their families. The death of these lovers forces the families to end the feud. It informs the audience of the general outline of the play foreshadowing future events and tells of a 'fearful passage', which shows the dangerous journey Romeo and Juliet travel on through the play. Summarising the entire play was useful as many members of the audience were poorly educated and this helped them to understand the storyline better. Shakespeare presents the Prologue in the Sonnet format, which instantly suggests the theme of love and introduces love as an important theme in the play as the sonnet format was traditionally a form of love poetry. The language however does not fully concentrate on love, as there is a lot of dark imagery such as 'mutiny', 'blood', and 'rage'. The theme of hate is depicted via this language and through the tone as it is very formal, mournful, and sorrowful and there is a solemn and eerie atmosphere, this gives an ominous feel to the play. ...read more.


In this first scene there is a strange biblical reference which comes from Benvolio when he attempts to stop the fight. He says 'Put up your swords. You know not what you do' in line 56. Jesus used this same phrase when he stopped his disciples from fighting the Roman guards as they were trying to arrest him. This line seems to ominously link to Juliet's fate, her death followed by a resurrection, which still ultimately ends in death. There are two perceptions of love in the play. One of these is centred on sexual desire; it shows how these relationships are inconsistent as they are largely based on the looks and not on personality. This is shown in the lines, 'Young men's love then lies/Not truly in their heart, but in their eyes', these lines are talking about the Romeo's infatuation with Rosaline, which obviously did not last. The first scene is full of sexual puns. This continues throughout the play, becoming quite rude as Samson and Gregory, from the Capulets, talk of raping the Montague's maids, '........'. The sexual punning begins in scene two, lines 25-35 and continues throughout the play. The love between Romeo and Juliet seems innocent but is actually largely set in passionate sexuality. In Act One, Scene Four Romeo, Mercutio, and Benvolio are on their way to a masked ball in Capulet's mansion. Benvolio has an invitation and is going to slip Romeo and Mercutio in. Romeo is still miserable; even though he knows Rosaline will be at the party and he wil have a chance to see her. Mercutio tries to cheer up Romeo with an imaginary story about Queen Mab, an elf who makes trouble by creeping into people's dreams at night, 'the angry Mab with blisters plagues' 'gallops night by night/through lovers brains and then they dream of love'. ...read more.


Shakespeare uses Juliet's Nurse to bring Romeo and Juliet out of their fantasy world and back to reality. Romeo is the first to find out that he and his love are part of rival families. Juliet is forced to go and see her mother; it is then that he finds out that she is a Capulet as the Nurse tells him that 'Her mother is the lady of the house'. He was stunned and startled to find out that the girl he loves was the daughter of his father's enemy, 'Is she a Capulet? /My life is my foes debt'. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony when Juliet finds out who her love is as she asks her Nurse about three separate men at the party, saving Romeo for last so she did not cause suspicion. Juliet, like Romeo, is surprised when she learns of her love's identity. The Nurse informs her that he is Romeo, the only son of the Montague family. Juliet is heart-broken that she loves a 'loathed enemy'. They are left in despair as they both realise the danger of their situation being from two enemy households, 'my only love sprung from my only hate'. Juliet says 'my grave is like to be my wedding bed' and the final rhyming couplet of the second sonnet ends with 'bitterest gall', both of these ominously link to their fate. Throughout the play, Shakespeare shows that love and hate are inextricably linked; where there is one, there is always the other. Consequently, love is presented in a negative way showing it as vicious and dangerous, even true love can result in something destructive as it is constantly mixed amid hatred. How Does Shakespeare Present Love and Hate in Act One, Scene One and Scene Five? Jenni Corcoran 1ON - 1 - ...read more.

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