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Is "Romeo & Juliet" a story about love or hate?

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Introduction

Is "Romeo & Juliet" a story about love or hate? In order to form a view on whether or not Romeo and Juliet is a story about love or hate, I decided to examine the various aspects of love and hate within the play, and the way that Shakespeare has presented them to his readers. The Chorus is the first part of the play found in the prologue, which is used to explain and comment on the action. I found that the chorus emphasised hate rather than love in this case with words of violence rather than peace throughout the passage, "...From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean..." The prologue is full of violent and negative language such as "ancient grudge", "civil blood", "fatal lions", "death- mark'd", and "rage" that gives Romeo and Juliet a hate theme before you even begin to read Act One Scene One. By this time, Shakespeare has already created an atmosphere of tension where it will only take one muttered gesture to provoke an outrage of violence. There are other ways of looking at they way Shakespeare uses his chorus to describe hate. If I was to decide that "Romeo and Juliet" is about love rather than hate, I could put forward the idea that the play is about love against a background of hate, in this case the chorus which is used to make the love stand out more. After a rather hate filled prologue, Shakespeare opens the act with a scene of hate. ...read more.

Middle

She feels, like Romeo, that love is once and forever, and they both fear the consequences of their love, but without any thought of changing their minds or hearts. Balcony scene The more love she gives the more she gets Loves brings her both pleasure and pain Doting on someone is different to loving them Shakespeare also shows parental love in the play, whilst also showing that the fathers and mothers have a different relationship with their sons and daughters. For example, Lady Montague dies once Romeo is banished. On the other hand, Lord Capulate has a much more forceful relationship with Juliet in terms of the arranged marriage with Paris. Parents always do what they think is best for you and is in your best interests, in this case, Juliet's parents plan an arranged marriage with Paris, and if she doesn't thank them for their efforts because it isn't what she wanted, they will often get upset. This is another subtle indication of love in Romeo and Juliet. This point may explain why both Romeo and Juliet fail to really communicate fully with their parents and have their own figure to turn to. The relationship between the Nurse and Juliet also provides a theme of love. The Nurse is Juliet's best friend but is better described as her mum because she does everything any loving mother should do - the nurse cares for Juliet, knows exactly when she was born, and has fond memories of her childhood. The Nurse acted like a messenger, meeting with Romeo to discuss wedding plans for him and Juliet. ...read more.

Conclusion

Tybalt was the personification of hatred between the Capulet and Montague families. Tybalt and Mercutio were always ready for a fight. The prince was sick of the fighting and said death would come to anyone from either house if they were caught fighting in public. However, both families still thought that they had to show superiority, and future fights would still be inevitable. The constant violence led to the 'accidental' killing of Mercutio by Tybalt. In his last minutes, Mercutio realised the immaturity of the families' feuds, which is ironic because it was often Mercutio who took part in such violence, when he said, "A plague o' both your houses." In a period of impulse and rage, Romeo took it upon himself to get revenge by killing Tybalt. This murder caused Romeo to be banished from Verona and separated from his love Juliet. It is hate which splits Romeo and Juliet up. Escales, Prince of Verona, represents the law in this play. It is during Act 1 Scene 1 that Shakespeare truly lets us understand how the situation between Capulates and Montagues has escalated. Scene 5 act 3 line 49,60 and 75 Act 5 scene 3 line 286 the prince Friar explains the whole story... After analysing the love and hate sides to Romeo and Juliet, I have come to the conclusion that it is about love overcoming hate due to the fact that by the end of the story, Romeo and Juliet are in love with each so much that they kill themselves, and as a consequence the parents forget the hate their possess for each other. Mitchell Lear ENGLISH Coursework 4/28/2007 - 1 - ...read more.

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