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How does Shakespeare Present the Theme of Love in Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare Present the Theme of Love in Romeo and Juliet? Shakespeare presents the theme of love in different ways for each of the characters and for some, such as Romeo, Shakespeare's portrayal of this theme changes as the play progresses. Shakespeare's first portrayal of the theme of love is in the first act when Romeo is talking of his love for Rosaline with Benvolio. Here Romeo is very confused as he uses oxymorons such as 'o brawling love, o loving hate,' (line 107) which shows how he is confused by his relationship with Rosaline as she does not return his love. Romeo continues to speak about the pain of love as he says 'being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers tears.' (Line 186) This shows how Romeo feels that he is being tormented by his love and he also, in this line speaks of all the lovers who have shed tears over their love and says how this is keeping the sea levels high by saying that the tears nourish the sea. ...read more.

Middle

in a bad way as he was tormented by Rosaline and begins to compare it to a religion, something which would have been very close to the hearts of Shakespeare's original audience. Romeo expresses this in many places in the scene, most notable on line 96wwhen he says 'saints have hands that pilgrims hands do touch. Act two scene two is when Romeo returns to find Juliet in the Capulet's orchard. The danger of going into the Capulet grounds firstly as a Montague and secondly as Tybalt tried to kill him at the party shows how much danger Romeo is willing to put himself in order to see Juliet again. When they meet and begin to talk, Juliet begins to ask very practical questions such as 'how cam'st thou hither?' (Line 62 II ii) This firstly shows Juliet's caring for Romeo's safety but this is more traditionally what a man would do fro a woman and then Romeo replies 'with love's light wings did I o'erpearch these walls,' (line 66 II ii) ...read more.

Conclusion

As the play progresses another depiction of love is shown. This is Lord Capulet's view of love. He sees love as a business deal. He sees Juliet as his daughter and by this he thinks of her as his possession which he can use for his own advantage. This is shown when he says 'And you'll be mine, I'll give you to my friend.' (Line 192 III v) Here he is trying to force Juliet to marry Paris so that he can enter into the royal line without regarding Juliet's feelings. When he says 'you be mine' he is showing his lack of regard love and how he thinks of Juliet s his property. Shakespeare's presentation of the theme of love varies greatly throughout the play and from one character to another. It can be see how the attitudes to love of the characters change especially Romeo and it can also be seen how Shakespeare presents each character views on love differently. Henry Abbot 10W ...read more.

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This writer has tackled this question well. Most of the characters' points of view on love are assessed with reference to the text and language is also looked at. I would have liked a little more on Juliet and some comments about the end of the play.

Marked by teacher Paul Dutton 20/03/2013

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