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

How does Shakespeare present the theme of love in Act I of Romeo and Juliet.

Extracts from this document...


How does Shakespeare present the theme of love in Act I of Romeo and Juliet In Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, Act I sets the scene for the rest of the play and shows how the main characters love for each other will develop. Shakespeare develops many different types of love through a complex plot, characters and with the added twist of fate. At our first meeting with Romeo, he shows a stylised, conventional view of love, known as courtly love or Petrarchan love. Shakespeare conveys this love in Romeo's speech, his actions and his emotions. Romeo is adamant that only Rosaline will suit him and when she dismisses him, Romeo tells his cousin Benvolio 'I have lost myself; I am not here; This is not Romeo, he's some other where'1,1,191. This helps portray the stylised view of love, as Romeo is lost without Rosaline and is not himself anymore. Romeo is also very melancholy in the way in which the speaks, 'Being purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes; Being vex'd a sea nourish'd with lovers' tears'1,1,185. Love stories containing this type of courtly love often follow a similar plot to each other, and invariably must fill certain criteria. ...read more.


When Tybalt reveals his plans to kill Romeo, 'Now, by the stock and honour of my kin, to strike him dead, I hold it not a sin'1,5,55, Capulet refuses to let him, 'He shall be endured'1,5,73. I believe that Capulet and Tybalt to not see eye-to-eye and Capulet only endures his presence out of a sense of duty towards his family. Loyalty within families is a hugely important theme in Romeo and Juliet and is demonstrated by the parental love and concern shown by the Capulets and Montagues. It is plain to see that Lady Capulet was married young and quickly became pregnant, 'I was your mother much upon these years'1,3,74, and in her opinion, getting married at a young age has not done her any harm. She is also very impressed by Paris' attractive appearance and social standing, 'Verona's summer hath not such a flower'1,3,78. Therefore she believes that it is in her daughters best interests to marry Paris, and she is only pressuring Juliet into marriage because Lady Capulet believes her daughter will be happier. However, at the beginning of the act, Capulet is not as certain as his wife about the benefits of his daughter marrying Paris. ...read more.


The masked ball is designed to cement the love affair between Juliet and Paris, yet into it comes an interloper whose encounter with Juliet totally rewrites the script. We are aware of the dangers all the time: of the hatred between the two families. But against this background, a beautiful love forms, blossoms and achieves immortality. Romeo and Juliet are powerless in a world not of their making and one of which they are unable to influence - at least not until they die. True love never dies. A phrase highly appropriate for the play of Romeo and Juliet. The popularity of the play does not reside in its different definitions of love but in its triumphant description of one love. The 'true love' of Romeo and Juliet shines out against the other types of love. It is obvious that Romeo feels more for Juliet than simply courtly love when he first meets her. After the pain and suffering that loving Rosaline has caused him, Romeo must be delighted in the ease of this new love. Upon first meeting her he says, 'O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!'1,5,41, perhaps reference to a new fame burning inside him for Juliet. The love he feels for Juliet must be all the more intense considering the extent to which he loved Rosaline. ...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. How Does Shakespeare Present The Character Of Romeo Montague?

    Also, Romeo refrains from fighting as he slyly hints to Tybalt that he is part of the same family. Shakespeare cleverly does this by writing riddles in Romeo's speech, in hope that Tybalt will guess about his recent marriage. Although Shakespeare writes Romeo these riddles, containing metaphors, he is showing

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

    This was not the ideal time for them to meet, especially as Juliet was so in love with Romeo, and so upset about what was happening to him. For Paris to express his feelings to Juliet in such a short scene would be very difficult for him.

  1. Does Shakespeare present a positive view of love in the play Romeo and Juliet?

    Benvolio tries to convince Romeo that he must forget his feeling for Rosaline. At this point in the play Benvolio is portraying Romeo as a 'Petrarchan Lover'. The audience may have noticed that the language used in this play was similar to the words of the poet Petrach.

  2. Explore the different representations of love in 'Romeo and Juliet' commenting on how Shakespeare ...

    And this is his idea of love which shows us that he doesn't really have a good understanding of what love is actually like and this makes us doubt the authenticity of his love for Rosaline. Another thing that makes us doubt his love for Rosaline is the language that he uses.

  1. How Does Shakespeare Introduce the Theme Of Destiny In Act 1 Of "Romeo and ...

    Clearly, the sense that the two lovers are "star-cross'd" implies that their shared destiny is mapped out for them - mainly it's Shakespeare's references to the stars that highlights an almost mystical influence, among many of the contemporary audience, mysticism and superstition was more rife than it is nowadays therefore,

  2. The main theme in 'Romeo and Juliet' is love, and how it occurs in ...

    Furthermore, at the time it was fashionable to use hyperbole. We can see that Romeo is exaggerating his love for Rosaline a great deal, which proves that his love for Rosaline is purely fashionable. This love is in sharp contrast to the love that Romeo will later feel for Juliet - true love.

  1. Discuss the different kinds of love presented by Shakespeare in "Romeo and Juliet"

    In fact, Shakespeare only wants to show how Romeo is in love with the idea of being in love and Rosaline is just a substitute until Romeo finds Juliet. Rosaline is an average girl, but Romeo is looking forward to falling in love so much that he jumps at the first change to be devoted to someone.

  2. How and in what way does Shakespeare present the theme of love in act ...

    feeling turmoil over Rosaline, then celebrating his marriage to Juliet and finally having to suffer with the consequences. The first four lines (quatrain) of the prologue prepare the audience to see the long-standing feud between the two families (the Capulets and the Montages)

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