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To what extent does love overcome conflict in

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Introduction

To what extent does love overcome conflict and family feuding in "Romeo and Juliet". Examine the ways in which Shakespeare presents these themes through the use of language, characterisation and stagecraft. "Romeo and Juliet" is an early tragedy by William Shakespeare about two teenage "star-cross'd lovers" whose "untimely deaths" ultimately unite their feuding households. The play has been highly praised by literary critics over the years for its language and dramatic effect. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and, is one of his most frequently performed plays today. Its influence is also still seen today, with the two main characters being widely represented as archetypal young lovers. The two main themes of the play, are love and conflict, and they are closely intertwined, providing the backbone of the play. This is a play which also shows how prejudice leads to escalating violence. There are so many examples of clashes in the play that it is hard to determine whether Shakespeare intended it to be a romantic tragedy or a battling love story. However, love triumphs over conflict, and the family feuding, in many different ways, despite the death of the two lovers at the end. ...read more.

Middle

Or do they stay loyal to their families? Even when they find out each others identities, they still let their love reign. This choice, for following their love, is a sign of overcoming the conflict. They never let go of their love, right until the point of their deaths. In act 2, scene 2, the physical distance between the lovers, on the balcony and below it, could be interpreted as symbolising the rift between the two families, and it is, in effect, a metaphor to symbolise the hatred. This scene is when they first come together, and break down the barriers of the family ties; "Can I love this loathed enemy". By breaking down these barriers, and doing something, that dishonours both families, this can be seen as overcoming the conflict, because although the families hate each other, Romeo and Juliet do not allow this to stand in the way of their love. Friar Laurence is presented as a holy man who is trusted and respected by the other characters. The Friar's role as the friend and advisor to Romeo and Juliet highlights the conflict between parents and their children within the play. The centrality of the Friar's role suggests a notable failure of parental love. ...read more.

Conclusion

The families are reconciled by their children's deaths and agree to end their violent feud. The play ends with the Prince's brief elegy for the lovers: "For never was a story of more woe / than this of Juliet and her Romeo." In "Romeo and Juliet", love overcomes conflict in nearly all aspects of the play. The lovers taking their lives, should not be seen as entirely a tragedy, for the only true way Romeo and Juliet could have been happy, was in death. Their time in love, was one full of conflict and pain; They had so many people to obey, to please, that it drove them and others that loved them, to think of a scheme, which would try and free them, but it failed. Maybe in death they were finally happy, and maybe this is what Shakespeare was trying to convey, by the tragic ending, that it wasn't tragic. Of course death is always painful for those who love us, but this led the families to be reconciled and they embrace each other no longer as enemies, but even as friends. Nothing that makes a friendship, and finds complete peace and true love, could be described as conflict. Therefore, love overcomes conflict in "Romeo and Juliet". ...read more.

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