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How does Shakespeare present the themes of love and hate in his play Romeo and Juliet?

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Introduction

How does Shakespeare present the themes of love and hate in his play Romeo and Juliet? In Romeo and Juliet there is an ancient feud between Romeo's family, the Montagues and Juliet's family, the Capulets. The play begins with a fight which is broken up by the Prince and he says that if they fight again they will be killed. Then Romeo carries on about how he loves Rosalyne and how he sad as she doesn't love him. Juliet is told that Paris seeks her to marry and they go to the party that is for the Capulets. Romeo also goes to the party even though he's not invited, sees Juliet and falls in love with her. Tybalt sees Romeo and wants to kill him but is prevented by Capulet. Romeo and Juliet meet and kiss and then Juliet finds out he is a Montague after he leaves. There's the balcony scene where Romeo and Juliet speak of their love for each other and decide to get married. Romeo asks Friar Lawrence to marry them and he agrees. The Nurse goes to find Romeo to see if he will marry Juliet. She returns to Juliet and tells her to go to Friar Lawrence's cell to be married. They are married. Tybalt wants to fight Romeo but Romeo will not fight him as they are now cousins. Tybalt doesn't know this. Mercutio steps in and fights Tybalt instead. Romeo tries to stop the fight and Mercutio is killed under his arm. Romeo then kills Tybalt in revenge and is banished to Mantua. It is decided Juliet will marry Paris even though Juliet says she would rather my Romeo, who they know she hates, than marry Paris. Juliet goes to see the Friar and they concoct a plan. Juliet will take some sleeping drugs and they will pretend she is dead. Romeo will be told and will arrive as she awakes. ...read more.

Middle

This shows how much he hates Romeo. He is calling him a peasant and this was a degrading remark, this was a normal insult to use and a duel should follow. When Romeo next speaks you could say it is the only time he restrains himself and behaves as he should in the position he is in. Tybalt continues to hate everything Romeo says and everything that Romeo is and flatly refuses to believe that he is genuine in what he is saying. Mercutio jumps in and you could say he shows his love and loyalty towards Romeo as he steps in for him. He insults Tybalt and asks him to duel, "Tybalt you ratcatcher, will you walk?" However you could say that Mercutio was being impulsive and hateful, not thinking carefully and not being aware of the consequences of his actions. When Romeo tries to stop him he still doesn't pay attention and it results in Mercutio getting himself killed. Then Mercutio is, perhaps understandably, hateful toward Tybalt and Romeo as he is dying. He repeats "A plague a' both your houses!" It shows his bitter feeling for the feud between the families now that he has realized what it's doing to their community. Mercutio is not a serious character until his deathbed when he finally realizes that some things have to be serious even if he wants them to be funny. Romeo enters a changed man. He is furious and ready to avenge the death of Mercutio. This really lets his immaturity show through though because of his sudden change of attitude. He says "Now, Tybalt take thy "villain" back again that thou gavest me." He's cancelled out what he said earlier, "I do protest I never injured thee, but love thee better than thou canst devise," and he is sending Tybalt's earlier insult right back at him. His loyalty to Juliet is lost in the spur of the moment and he kills Tybalt. ...read more.

Conclusion

When the Nurse begins, "You have made a simple choice." She should take Juliet by the hand and bring her down and talk directly to her but with both of them on an angle so the audience can still see. Then when Juliet says, "No, no. But all this I did know before. What says he of our marriage? What of that?" She could stand up and bang the table in exasperation. Then when she wants to get back on the Nurse's good side and get it out of her she can go back to her and calm down. When the Nurse says, "Where is your mother?" I would have her suddenly stand up in a rush and move away from Juliet, as if going to find her mother. Then Juliet can go back to her and get so frustrated and demand to find out what Romeo said. Then the Nurse can suddenly speak much more quietly but still just as full of childish excitement, "Have you got leave to go to shrift today?" They can both kneel down close to each other and the Nurse can take Juliet's face in her hands, as if she is a small child, while she speaks to her. While the Nurse is talking Juliet can get increasingly excited and giggly. Then when the Nurse finishes and Juliet says, "Hie to high fortune! Honest Nurse farewell." Juliet will jump up and run down the stairs through the audience while the Nurse leaves the stage from the wings and a church set can be brought onto stage and then the Friar and Romeo can enter. I like Romeo and Juliet, not only because of the Shakespearian language, but because he has written, essentially about teenagers and their problems. Of course it isn't in the same context as teenager's problems today but the idea is there and it doesn't take a lot to tweak it and make it more relevant with West Side Story being a good example. ?? ?? ?? ?? Annabel Walley 10S ...read more.

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