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Love In Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

"Romeo & Juliet" is a play about love, but this word means different things to different characters in the play, and for some, like Romeo, its meaning changes as the play progresses. Discuss the theme of love in "Romeo & Juliet" and examine the different attitudes towards love that the characters have. Shakespeare's play "Romeo & Juliet" centres on many themes such as fate and death. But the theme of love takes centre stage as we see many different forms of love develop morph and blossom during the play. All the different characters have their own views and attitudes towards love and we see these ideas conflict, contrast and mature. Set in "fair Verona" where we see this exotic, romantic love flourish in which impetuous passion shown by all the characters leads to a swift and sharp pace throughout the play. Elizabethan audiences would have loved the bawdy and violent nature of this play and would have revelled in the poetic, stellar language used by these two "star-crossed" lovers during the play. In this play we see a variety of attitudes towards love such as Romeo's poetic, romantic, melancholy view, which contrasts greatly with the attitudes of Mercutio and the nurse for example, who have an extremely physical and superficial view of love. Upon examining Romeo's attitude towards love I have discovered a young, fiery, passionate and poetic man. From the very first time we meet him he believes he is in love with Rosaline and uses extremely poetic language to describe this, phrases such as "love is a smoke made with the fire of sighs". I get two impressions from this quote. One is that he almost enjoys the melancholy involved with unrequited love, due to the use of "sighs" and the second is that this love is merely created to fix his need for melancholy. This gives him an outlet into which he likes to play intellectually with words and likes to test his own literary skills, often he uses oxy-morons to further these literary skills such as "brawling love" and "loving hate". ...read more.

Middle

Juliet's attitude towards love is a lot like Romeo's. They both have the same undying unflinching love that is powered by the two characters impetuous passion that is so strong it leads to deaths throughout the play. But Juliet's character means that her love is portrayed in a different way to all the other characters in the play. Her practicality means that she appears more self-assured and confident than Romeo. Also, she appears a lot more realistic but there are glimpses of her romantic feelings throughout the play and at times her language seems to be even more beautiful and poetic than Romeo's is, for example "My bounty is boundless as the sea, my love is as deep". In contrast to other characters, she shares none of the same values of her parents especially her father, as he wants to marry her into a marriage of convenience, just like him. The nurse brought up Juliet. She is a very important character in this play for many reasons. She has a very bawdy and coarse character that often makes sexual jokes. This is shown on a number of occasions, such as "Thou wilt fall backward when thou hast more wit." This bawdy nature of the nurse is important because she creates comic relief throughout this tragedy, which would have been greatly appreciated especially in the Elizabethan period. Another reason of her importance is that she provides a friendship for Juliet and a character that Juliet confides in. But the nurse's actual view of love is extremely different to Romeo and Juliet as she has an extremely materialistic view of love and also a very physical view that is similar to Mercutio's perspective. This bawdy nature that I have continually mentioned is shown throughout the play such as "No less, nay bigger; women grow by men." This is a play on words that means that women grow in stature once married but also grow in size due to pregnancy. ...read more.

Conclusion

She finds it impossible to talk to her daughter alone and needs the nurse to be present to have any interaction with Juliet whatsoever. This is shown when Lady Capulet tells Juliet of the proposed marriage to Paris the first time, before she has met Romeo. She is a huge contrast to Juliet who is full of passion, resolute, and totally emotionally driven. After studying all the most influential characters, we can see that Shakespeare has included a wide variety of views and aspects of love in this play that creates the atmosphere in our exotic setting, for the most fabled love story of all time. Aswell as romantic and sexual love we witness love shown between family and friends, we see a holy, Christian love that is portrayed by friar Lawrence, this again inter links with the Elizabethan period as religion was an extremely important part of life during that time. So as we can clearly see, the characters harbour different perspectives and ideas of love. The characters grow and develop during the play and so the theme of love becomes extremely diverse and complex as the contrasting perspectives set a passionate, fiery, swift, sharp atmosphere. During the hot days and moonlit nights our characters seem to learn their ideas of love, using passion, instinct and loyalty as their textbook. This play has been adapted over time into books, theatre, films and even ballets. This is due to the fact that this play captures the essence of human beings. It includes every main aspect of our lives, their lives and the lives of people to come. The main themes; death, fate, hate, friendship, family, happiness and love combine for a mixture that will touch the hearts of every reader or member of an audience. This play has many themes but love takes centre stage, and we get to witness the most beautiful form of love; the love of Romeo and Juliet. They make the greatest sacrifice for each other and that is the greatest proof of their love. "Romeo: Thus with a kiss I die" ...read more.

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