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How does Shakespeare present love and hate in 'Romeo & Juliet'?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present love and hate in 'Romeo &Juliet'? Throughout the play 'Romeo and Juliet' Shakespeare portrays love and hate in many different ways. At the start of the play, the chorus, there is a sonnet. It tells the basic story line and it prepares the audience for a tragedy by using adjectives and quatrains to the play. Shakespeare says: '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.' This uses the idea of 'fate' and it outlines that the love of Romeo and Juliet ended the hatred between the Montagues and the Capulets. Also the hatred of the two families led to the deaths of the two characters. Near the beginning hate is evident because Tybalt, a member of the Capulet family, says: 'What drawn and talk of peace? I hate the word, As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.' This tells us that he hates all Montague's regardless of whom they are and that he is uncompromising towards them. Another example of hate is when a rude gesture sparks a mass brawl between the two families. When the Prince finally arrives and quells the riot he says that if they ever disturb the streets again then Capulet and Montague will be executed. ...read more.

Middle

Here Shakespeare uses two words that rhyme- 'kin' and 'sin'. He uses this to great effect as it captures the audience's attention. When Capulet notices Tybalt he asks what is wrong and Tybalt says: 'Uncle this is a Montague, our foe; A villain that is hither come in spite, To scorn at our solemnity this night.' Tybalt says that Romeo is their opponent due to him being a Montague. In the time of Shakespeare the word 'villain' would be seen as an insult and therefore he would get a big reaction from the audience. Shakespeare uses insults as a form of hate and this sets the scene completely away from the dreamy atmosphere that was created when Romeo was soliloquising about Juliet. Capulet tries to calm the hatred of Tybalt, but Tybalt says that he will not tolerate it. This makes it seem as if Tybalt wants to 'pick a fight' with Romeo but Capulet does not want his party to be ruined by the intolerance of Tybalt. Tybalt then exits with a strong worded speech: 'I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall, Now seeming sweet, convert to the bitterest gall.' This shows that Tybalt threatens vengeance and it gives the effect that he thinks the name 'Montague' is a foul substance rather then an identity. ...read more.

Conclusion

From it we can tell that the nurse is closer to Juliet than her mother, Lady Capulet, is. Although this may seem unusual to us now, in the time of Shakespeare this was common in many upper class families; as it was common for people of thirteen or fourteen to get married. And that is why Romeo and Juliet are married at such a young age. Shakespeare produces a tragedy by contrasting love and hate to create different atmospheres. He also uses strong contrasting language throughout the play, which deals with the theme of love and hate. You could say that love and hate run in parallel, which adds contrast to the scene such as Tybalt's aggression to Romeo's peacemaking and the love of Romeo and Juliet to the hate of the two families. In most of Shakespeare's 'tragedies', something always leads to the main character's death. For example in the play 'Macbeth', Macbeth and Lady Macbeth die and in 'Romeo and Juliet', Romeo and Juliet both die. But we do not feel sorry for Macbeth as his downfall was due to his own greed and selfishness whereas we do feel sorry for Romeo and Juliet, as their deaths were almost condemned to happen from the beginning of the play. The structure of the play is built around love and hate. Shakespeare uses this structure very effectively to create a typical tragedy-'Romeo and Juliet'. ...read more.

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