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Romeo and Juliet

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Paige Pidcock Explore the various ways in which Shakespeare portrays the developing love relationship between Romeo and Juliet. The romantic tragedy "Romeo and Juliet" follows the relationship rollercoaster of the lives of two teenagers as they fall in love. Both children of two feuding families, their love is not to be. We know right from the beginning that their love is a time bomb just waiting to explode. Romeo and Juliet's first meeting is at the Capulet party where its obvious Romeo is infatuated by Juliet's beauty. You can see that both Romeo and Juliet fall in love at first sight. As it seems they lose all thought of the party going on around them. The prologue sets the story against a backdrop of violence, bitterness and feuding. In the prologue, Shakespeare introduces the play with the opening sentence "Two households, both alike in dignity" He explains right from the beginning that there is a lot of anger between the two families as they are so alike. Shakespeare describes Romeo and Juliet as "A pair of star crossed lovers..." and then tells us "Who take their lives..." Shakespeare explains to us that their relationship is doomed from the outset and that their deaths are inevitable. Shakespeare describes the love of Romeo and Juliet as "Death-marked." This creates a sense of foreboding as it becomes clear that their love is destined for death. Shakespeare uses a lot of vulgar sexual language to begin the play. He does this to contrast with Romeo and Juliet's love, as their love is described as "holy" and passionate unlike that what is described in the opening scene. ...read more.


This shows Romeo would even consider changing his identity to make it possible for him and Juliet to be together. In keeping with her character in the rest of the play, Lady Capulet introduces the topic of marriage to Paris very abruptly and without much sensitivity. She expects Juliet to commit herself to someone she has not yet seen. Lady Capulet says Juliet could 'Share all that he doth possess' And seems to see marriage as a sharing of position and wealth rather than a sharing of love. Romeo, having gained entry to the party in the hope of seeing Rosaline, in over whelmed by his first sight of Juliet. 'O she doth teach the torches to burn bright' Romeo sees Juliet and is stunned by her beauty. He associates her with glowing light, says she shines like a rich jewel, compares her to a snowy dove among crows and says she is 'blessed'. As Benvolio said he would, Romeo now forswears his love for Rosaline at once. Benvolio also says: ' Since one fire burns out another and one pain is made less by the anguish of another, he should therefore fine a new love' But we know that Romeo's pain will be made greater, not less, by his love for Juliet. Romeo's speech in praise of Juliet describes the beauty of the light of the sun and the other stars. Later, he speaks of her as a 'Bright angel' who, as a 'winged messenger of heaven', is far above ordinary mortals on earth. Romeo uses religious imagery to describe Juliet indicating the kind of love he feels for her. ...read more.


Both of them are pale, and Romeo says that 'sorrow drinks our blood' meaning that they look pale because they are sad. These are the last words Juliet ever hears from Romeo. "Her beauty makes this vault a feasting presence full of light' Romeo says he will bury Paris with Juliet but that it will not be in a grave but in a 'lantern', because Juliet's beauty makes the tomb 'full of light'. Again Romeo compares the beauty of Juliet to brilliant light, even in death, and his speech is full of word play on 'lighting', which should remind you of Juliet's worry that their love resembled lightning too much. The lovers' passion had been described by the imagery as almost religious and heavenly, and the Friar warned that too much passion was dangerous and would consume itself 'like fire and powder.' "This is thy sheath; there rest, and let me die" The Friar arrives but it is too late to save the lives of Paris or Romeo. He urges the awakened Juliet to escape with him and underlines the role of fate in the play when he tells her that 'a great power than we can contradict hath thwarted our intents.' Unable to persuade her to leave the Friar panics and runs away. The last reference to drinking in the play occurs when Juliet cannot find a 'friendly drop' of poison in the cup in Romeo's hand. She kills herself using a dagger in order to be with her husband in death. This is a fitting end for someone who has been throughout the stronger and more practical of the lovers and who had to face danger alone. ...read more.

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