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Opposition of Love and Hatred in 'Romeo And Julliet'

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Introduction

Neel Kotecha 11 kw Show how Shakespeare combines the opposition of love and hatred in his tragedy 'Romeo and Juliet' The central focus of the play, ' Romeo and Juliet ' is love. It is set against a background darkened much by a deeply entrenched hatred. In the opening sonnet the audience is informed about the 'ancient grudge' between the two most influential families in Verona who are known to be Montagues and the Capulets. The audience also learns of two 'star crossed' lovers who are destined for love yet by fate they are also destined for tragedy. As the audience we get our first hint that love will ironically run alongside hatred when Chorus states that the love of the two 'star crossed lover' is a 'death marked' love. Already we can conclude that in this play the theme of love will be met with the theme of hatred. From the very first scene Shakespeare concentrates on the theme of hatred. The servants of Montague and Capulet begin a full-scale brawl in which swords are drawn. At this moment the audience realises that there is so much hatred between the two families that even the slightest bit of banter can cause a full scale brawl. As the brawl ensues Benvolio tries to make peace by putting his sword between the two fighting houses. However Tybalt walks in. Tybalt has different ideas. He says, ' I hate the word, as I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.' ...read more.

Middle

Shakespeare keeps giving us constant reminders about the deeply entrenched hatred between the two families. As this hatred runs in the background the two young teenagers decide to get married. Romeo is overwhelmed with joy and runs straight to Friar Lawrence to arrange the marriage. At first the friar is annoyed is annoyed that Romeo tends to fall in love with one woman to another at great ease, however then he agrees to the marriage hoping that it will end the feud between the two families,' for this alliance may so happy prove to turn your household rancour to pure love.' I believe this is another example of love and hatred running side by side however this time I believe that love is trying to cure hatred instead of running beside it. As the play enters act 3 the whole pace of the action escalates. The theme of hatred now comes to the forefront. Romeo is unaware if the challenge sent by Tybalt for a fight. In the public place of Verona Mercutio and Tybalt are spitting insults to each other and both are up for a fight. A happily in love Romeo appears on the scene. Unaware of any challenge by Tybalt he refuses to fight him. Romeo being married to Juliet knows he must know love him as Tybalt is Julliets cousin, ' Tybalt the reason I have to love thee doth much excuse the appertaining rage' yet Tyblat thinks this is an insult while Mercutio thinks Romeo is being a coward. ...read more.

Conclusion

Romeo horrified that the love of his love is dead. In fact he is so grieved by the fact he purchases poison. When he sees Juliet in the tomb he takes the poison while the audience know she is not really dead. Romeo had killed Paris in the meantime, as he would not let him enter the tomb. Juliet then wakes up to find Romeo dead and thus in a consequence of her grief she takes her life ending her love affair with Romeo on earth One would have thought these happenings would have led to such great anger between the families it would be unbearable to watch unfold. However the audience witnesses the opposite. The prince tries to make them see what their hate has caused, ' see what scourge is laid upon your hate.' For once their hatred is put aside and they begin to see the folly. Capulet gesture to Montague proves it this, ' o brother Montague, give me thy hand.' Montague in return offers to build a statue of Juliet in gold. In this play the audience saw how love ran concurrently alongside hatred through out the whole of the play. Wherever there was love for someone there was hatred for someone else. In the end we saw what many had tried to do in their life to bring peace to the house of Montague and Capulet but never succeeded. Neither the church nor the state could bring peace. It would appear that the power of love is stronger than both. Romeo and Juliet managed to bring peace by their death while many were unsuccessful when they were alive ...read more.

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