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Presentation Of Love & Hate In Romeo & Juliet

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Introduction

The Presentation of Love and Hate in Romeo & Julie A prologue is a section of text that proceeds a story, usually informing us of things like setting, introducing characters or delivering the basic plot. However in Romeo & Juliet the prologue is rather different, in this story the prologue gives us the ending of the story. The significance of this is that it is used to introduce the theme of the play, the theme it is renowned for, love and hate. Luhrmann, in his realisation of the play, uses the prologue very effectively and cleverly, having it read out as a news bulletin on a television. This helps to portray from early on the modern setting used to highlight the hatred between the two families. Many forms of love are shown in the play: from love associated with pain, to love associated with pleasure, from bawdy love, to courtly love, from infatuation, to emotional connection. All these different types of love are put across effectively by Shakespeare, bringing about a strong contrast between them, but especially the contrast of the pure and meaningful love shared between Romeo and Juliet, surrounded by the crude and fickle love of the people around them. Love based only on appearance seems to be a recurring theme in the play. One example of this sticks out for me, as a more significant one. This is Romeo with his childish, shallow love for Rosaline. The love becomes self-destructive for Romeo when it is not reciprocated. ...read more.

Middle

After discovering it was Romeo who slayed her beloved cousin Tybalt, Juliet is overwhelmed with emotions. She manages to keep on top of them, controlling her grief and overcoming hatred. Here Shakespeare shows how faithful her love is. Juliet is admirable for her selfless attitude when she declares her desire to live an 'unstained life' for her husband, meaning completely faithful and unadulterated. This selflessness is impressive. Shakespeare does show a strong physical attraction between Romeo and Juliet, however it is set apart from the crude, sexual love, based only upon physical attraction. Shakespeare uses religious imagery to help achieve this. Luhrmann also uses a lot of visual, religious imagery in the scenery for his movie. He displays a huge contrast at the party between Juliet in her pure, white, angel outfit in comparison to the scantily clad women around her. Also Romeo is wearing a knights costume, giving that view of a knight being gallant, honourable and the one to rescue the lady. I think the physical aspect of their love is often overlooked, but it is in fact highly significant, after all it was the physical attraction, which initially drew the couple together. In the love sonnet Romeo describes love like praying; "O then dear/ Let lips do what hands do. They pray; grant thou/ Turn lest faith turn to despair." Their love is presented as holy. We are shown the image of praying identifying kissing; theirs is a healthy attraction. ...read more.

Conclusion

In act 5 we desperately watch the tragic events unfold, painfully knowing that each step is a step toward the tragic ending. Refusing to accept the fact that we already know the ending, Shakespeare painstakingly gives us false hope that somehow the lovers will live on peacefully. In the video the dramatic irony is powerful as we see Romeo's fingers wiggle as Juliet decides to take her own life not realising Romeo is alive. The conclusion to this play is generally described as 'the triumph of love over hate' but I cannot bring myself to write about how love triumphed over hate when I disagree. Firstly, besides my opinion, I think triumph, is a poor, insensitive choice of word. I think that the hatred within the society smothers their love so much so, that it results in the destruction of Romeo and Juliet. Does not hate eventually overcome love; maybe you could argue that it has seen the end of the family feud. But for me that doesn't change the situation; in an ideal situation with justice, Romeo and Juliet would live on with each other in harmony, and be free to love one another, not be punished, and the rest of Verona rather than undeservedly gaining peace in their society, would be left to wallow in the mess they created, suffering the consequences of their sins and hatred. The story of Romeo and Juliet is not another love story with a cosy happy ending; it is a story about love, real love where sometimes people have to suffer. It teaches us what love really means. What love really is. ...read more.

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