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Love and Marriage in Act I of Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

Love and Marriage in Act I of Romeo and Juliet Romeo and Juliet is a Shakespearean play about two innocent lovers. There are many different types of love throughout the course of the play. These are such love as innocent love that springs up in the midst of hatred, the brothel love of Mercutio or the legalised copulation of the nurse. There is also the love of a forced marriage between Juliet's parents and the love of Friar Lawrence, which is a means to the practical end of reconciling two hostile families. All of the types of love in the play are partial, lop-sided and distorted in the world of Verona. In the play, Love has a transforming effect on both Romeo and Juliet. At the beginning of the play, Romeo is rather tiring. He first appears as a moody rejected lover. He complains endlessly about his sorrows because Rosaline rejects him. Romeo thinks Rosaline is beyond all women in beauty. He worships her. He exaggerates the depression associated with his rejection in the same way even though we suspect that his love is not very deep. Juliet is quiet, modest and subdued at the beginning of the play. It is obvious that she leads a sheltered life. Her mother suggests that Paris would make a good husband. Juliet just hopes to love him. She thinks that if she likes his appearance, she will like him. ...read more.

Middle

This is brought to our attention in scene 3 when Juliet speaks to her mother politely and respectfully in a formal manner when she says: " Madam, I am here. What is your will?" It becomes obvious throughout the course of the play that the nurse prefers Paris to Romeo and suggests Juliet should marry Paris. And, although she helped to bring about the marriage to Romeo, she is quite happy to wake Juliet in Act IV scene 5, for her marriage to Paris. The nurse, later, does not understand the depth of Juliet's love for Romeo and so can suggest marriage to Paris, is a measure of how fat Juliet has grown up. She is no longer a little girl, who is obedient and can be influenced easily; she is a woman with a commitment beyond the Nurse's comprehension. Juliet's father, Capulet has great affection for his daughter and hopes she will have a happy future. This is made obvious in scene 2 when he says the line, " She is the hopeful lady of my earth. But woo her gentle Paris, get her heart, My will to her consent is but a part." He believes his daughter grieves for the death of her cousin Tybalt, and thinks that marriage to Paris will make her happy. This is why he later agrees to the marriage in Act III scene 4, without consulting her. Capulet is not a cruel father. ...read more.

Conclusion

The Nurse helped to bring about the marriage to Romeo, however, she is quite happy to wake Juliet in Act IV scene 5, for her marriage to Paris. The nurse, later, does not understand the depth of Juliet's love for Romeo and so can suggest marriage to Paris, is a measure of how fat Juliet has grown up. She is no longer a little girl, who is obedient and can be influenced easily; she is a woman with a commitment beyond the Nurse's comprehension. The Nurse does not want to see Juliet get hurt through her passionate love to Romeo and although, we know that the nurse thinks of love as nothing but sex, her views on marriage are probably not quite as obscure as they first appear. We notice that it is Juliet who first mentions the idea of marriage later on in Act II, scene 2 with the line, " If that thy bent of love be honourable, Thy purpose marriage, send me word tomorrow, By one that I'll procure to come to thee, Where and what time thou wilt perform the rite" This suggests that there is now a reverse- role between Romeo and Juliet and Juliet is now the passionate flighty one in the play, as she does not hesitate to ask Romeo to marry her. Shakespeare has used many different ideas to perceive the idea of Love and Marriage throughout the play and overall the play has many hidden meanings and morals behind the different views of the characters as they think and act as they fall in love in Verona. Sarah Lavin L5S ...read more.

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