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There are many different aspects of Love in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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Jesse McDonald December 15th 2008 There are many different aspects of Love in "Romeo and Juliet" by William Shakespeare Although it is a tragedy in that the play conforms to Aristotle's definition of an essentially good person brought down by circumstances and his hubris or fatal flaw; Romeo and Juliet is the most famous love story of all time. As such the audience witnesses many different aspects of love as the drama unfolds. Courtly Love originated in thirteenth century France. The admiration of a young man for an older married woman was well documented in the songs and ballads of the Troubadours or minstrels who sung of un-requited love. The most a young man could expect from the object of his love would be a "favour" in the form of a glove or handkerchief. It was also known as the "poetry of frustration" as no consummation was ever anticipated. The relationship was one of artifice and show; it was never any threat to a woman's marriage. For the woman it was a diversion from the boredom of an arranged marriage; for the young man it was a vehicle for testing his emotional capabilities. ...read more.


Compatibility is valued more highly than romance. In the Montague "camp" platonic love plays a major role. As young men Romeo, Benvolio and Mercutio revel in each other's company. Like puppies they play fight, tease each other, ridicule, but fundamentally support and love each other. Male friendship was highly desirable in a world in which men and women were not on equal footing and usually lived quite seperate lives. It is Benvolio who is able to get to the bottom of Romeo's grief over Rosaline and who offers the sound advice, "Be ruled by me, forget to think of her". Mercutio is less sensitive having a more casual attitude to love: "If love be rough with you, be rough with love". Romeo's soliloquy on first seeing Juliet is a poetic celebration of her beauty. Through rhyming couplets, Romeo a' likens her radiance to "torches and jewels". The black and white imagery heightens the contrast between Juliet and a "snowy dove", among the other women; who are likened to "crows". The sonnet form of Romeo and Juliet's words to each other is highly appropriate as it is the poetry of love. ...read more.


Romeos simple line: "If must be gone and live, or story and die" succinctly captures their dilemma. He reiterates this in the tragic line: "More light and light and light it grows". As he leaves, Juliet's final words are full of pathos: "let day in, and let life out". Friar Lawrence's plan for the young lovers tragically misfires when plague at Manchua prevents the letter to Romeo arriving at its destination. The gruesome metaphor employed by Romeo to describe the mausoleum is appropriately gruesome: "thou detestable maw, thou womb of death, gorged with the dearest morsel of the earth" The drama claims its final victims in Paris, Romeo and Juliet; who all die in the final moments. Those to blame are the adults who maintained "The ancient grudge". The youngsters, "whose misadventure piteous overthrows, do with their death bury their parents strife" but, pay the ultimate price. The "star crossed" lovers seemed to have been pre-ordained by foul to face a tragic ending. The audience is probably in full agreement that: "For never was a story of more woe, than this of Juliet and her Romeo". This rhyming couplet reflects the finality of the action. ...read more.

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