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Shakespeare's world is foreign to us only in some of its customs and value systems. The variations he plays in 'Romeo and Juliet' on the theme of love, its corollaries and antitheses are timeless. Do you agree?

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Introduction

English Coursework "Here's much to do with hate, but more with love." Shakespeare's world is foreign to us only in some of its customs and value systems. The variations he plays in 'Romeo and Juliet' on the theme of love, its corollaries and antitheses are timeless. Do you agree? Throughout 'Romeo and Juliet' aspects of time and love play major parts in the destiny of our two lovers. Whilst features of the play seem foreign and unknown to us, there are also many situations with which we can relate. Maybe this sixteenth century play is not so far off from our modern day world. One aspect of Elizabethan life that stands out in the play is that of arranged marriages. When reading about how Juliet is forced to marry Paris, we are quite shocked. At present, for most of us, the idea of an arranged marriage seems highly absurd and quite outrageous; surely people are allowed to make their own mind up! Yet in the Elizabethan world this was not uncommon. Juliet is given a choice; marriage or turned out 'to hang, beg, starve, die in the streets.' This event seems unfair, yet it is just illustrating how, in certain aspects, our two worlds do not share their views. ...read more.

Middle

She may be well meaning, but unfortunately her views on love seem not to extend further than that of sexual activities- 'Thou wilt fall backwards... women grow by men.' The nurse appears dithery, voicing her views and opinions differently, depending on which character she faces. I suppose to the audience she could appear very two-faced, yet this is really just her harmless manner. Maybe it is due to her lack of experience, that she cannot feel the depth and strength of true love. Both Paris and Benvolio show types of love that are truly genuine. These are attitudes that are truly timeless, and will never falter. Benvolio expresses love of man for man. Whilst he may jest and laugh at Romeo's infatuation with Rosaline and then Juliet, he secretly cares deeply about Romeo. Paris on the other hand, expresses the genuine love of man for woman. Regrettably, his feelings are not returned, yet Paris stays devoted to Juliet, promising to strew flowers and weep over her tomb every night. Even when facing death, his only wish is to be near Juliet- 'If thou be merciful, Open the tomb, Lay me with Juliet.' Surely love like this still exists, whether it may occur in a simple playground crush or a more deep and demanding love. ...read more.

Conclusion

Religion is mentioned, whereby Romeo sees himself as a pilgrim at a saint's shrine. This relation to religion is slightly foreign to us now. As times have changed, the necessity to talk of religion has faded. In Elizabethan times the country was mainly Christian, with most people attending church. Now, modern England is multicultural, along with many atheists. Although this connection to religion is foreign, citizens understand the broad meaning of the passage today. We can relate to these feelings of true love. Juliet's love, being rather similar to that of Romeo's, is true love, suddenly sprung from nowhere. This love at first sight may be the end of both of them, yet consequently, it is these deaths that reunite the families after years of hatred. Maybe these deaths could have been avoided if our two lovers had not been so hasty, yet this was not so. Shakespeare's world, in Elizabethan times, varies greatly to our current world, yet in many ways, certain parts of their life can be related to. From a materialistic view, we share no similarities; we dress differently, speak differently, and even fight differently. However, when one looks harder, one realises that, whilst appearances have changed with time, love has become timeless. In its many different corollaries and antitheses, love has passed the test of time, and still lives on. ?? ?? ?? ?? Nikki Sommers, 10Z, Mrs Price ...read more.

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