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Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet Explore the different approaches to the theme of love and marriage presented in Acts one and Act Two of Romeo and Juliet William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous love stories of all time. Written in approximately 1595, it is considered to be one of Shakespeare's great works. Using the on-going feud between the Montagues and the Capulets as a backdrop to his play, Shakespeare gains an insight into the lives of the residents of Verona. As the story unfolds, a great variety of moral approaches and explanations as to the meaning of love and value of marriage are explored. Different characters in the play have diverse approaches to the theme of love and marriage. At the beginning of the play, Romeo is clearly fascinated with the notion of being in love. It is this attraction to being in love rather than actual love that is displayed for the character of Rosaline. The audience does not see Rosaline throughout the whole play; they only gain an insight to her from Romeo's clich�d descriptions. Shakespeare makes a play on words in the language he uses when describing the places Romeo goes when 'in love' with Rosaline. ...read more.


In asking the Nurse 'She's not fourteen?' she shows that she has handed over all responsibility of bringing up Juliet to the Nurse. This was common practice for wealthy families in Shakespeare's day; it is unlikely that an Elizabethan audience would have considered this abnormal. Considering Juliet's youth, it is surprising that her mother is so quick to talk about her proposed marriage to Paris. She asks 'Tell me...how stands your disposition to be married?' Lady Capulet reveals that she herself gave birth to Juliet when she was her age, she does not think that this is a problem. Her husband however has different thoughts on the matter when confronted by Paris. He thinks that it would be wise to 'let two more summers wither away in their pride' and advises Paris to 'woo her gentle'. At this point in the play, he is seen as a caring father; by comparison, he seems to have no problem to push Juliet into this unwanted marriage, later on in the play. Juliet's pivotal words at the end of Act 1 Scene III: 'I'll look to like...but no more deep...than your consent' reveal a lot about her personality. ...read more.


Friar Lawrence is pleased to hear of the news that Romeo no longer dotes on Rosaline and comments on this love by saying 'Thy love did read by rote that could not spell.' This is clear confirmation that it is visible to all that Romeo could not spell out his love for Rosaline and had merely recited different impressions of love as they came into his head. He notes that youthful love rests 'Not truly in their hearts, but in their eyes' this wise analysis portrays Friar Lawrence to be a learned and wise man whose advise should be listened too. His willingness to agree to marry Romeo and Juliet; although an apparent gesture of goodwill, is seen by many as to be the cause for the deaths of Romeo and Juliet later on in the play. Shakespeare's use of language is a clear indication at the general mood of the play. It is often those with less social status who do not use rhyme. For example the serving staff in the first scene speak using slang and use little eloquent language in their speech. 'My naked weapon is out', said by Sampson is a line unlikely to be used by somebody of higher class. When Romeo and Juliet share their romantic encounter on Juliet's balcony, some of the most beautiful language of play is used. ...read more.

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