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What role do Love and Marriage play in Romeo and Juliet.

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Introduction

What role do Love and Marriage play in Romeo and Juliet The romantic tragedy Romeo and Juliet contains many different types of romantic love and marriage. The examples of romantic love contained in this play are chivalric, dynastic, infatuation and true love. The types of marriage are passionate and impulsive and arranged and forced. These types of love and marriage are quite different from modern ideas. Courtly and dynastic loves occur infrequently, although there are still couples who are smitten with each other and in true love. Passionate, impulsive or arranged marriages are uncommon, in favour of well planned, thought out marriages, between people who really love each other. At the beginning of the play, Romeo is besotted with Rosaline, so much so that he cannot talk of anything else. He is trying to woe Rosaline, but is "Out of favour where I am in love". We learn that Romeo is sad as Rosaline rejects him and "she'll not be hit With Cupid's arrow." The way that Romeo speaks suggests that he is very sensitive. The audience are also led to believe that Romeo is confused by his emotions, by the line: "O brawling love, O loving hate". ...read more.

Middle

Lady Capulet and the nurse present the idea of marriage to Juliet by asking her "How stands your dispositions to be married?" We know that Juliet is less than pleased with the idea by her response: "It is an idea that I dream not of". With some persuasion from her mother however, including: "Here in Verona, ladies of esteem, Are made already mothers. By my count, I was made your mother much upon these years" she starts to change her mind. She keeps her options open: "I'll look to like, if looking liking move; But no more deep will I endart mine eye Than your consent gives strength to make it fly." By which she means she will consider marriage, but only if she likes Paris and her family approve and help her along. At the Capulet's party, Romeo falls in love with Juliet on sight. Romeo introduces himself to Juliet by saying "if I profane with my unworthiest hand This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this,". Romeo kisses fair Juliet twice, after which she tells him "You kiss by th'book" Just before Juliet learns that Romeo is a Montague and therefore her sworn enemy, she says "My grave is like to be my wedding bed". ...read more.

Conclusion

However, Lady Capulet is not afraid to voice her opinions: "Fie fie what, are you mad?" The nurse feels that Juliet is not at fault for rejecting Paris' suit: "You are to blame my lord, to rate her so" This tells us that when the play written, in the higher classes, marriage was a formality, but in the lower classes it actually meant something. Juliet then finds herself facing bigamy, which leaves her considering suicide: "'Twixt my extremes and me this bloody knife". Friar Lawrence tries to help her by offering her the chance to deceive everyone and pretend to be dead: " A thing like death to chide away this shame". This tells us that the values of society in which the play is set are religious, as citizens, even members of the church are willing to deceive to avoid breaking the laws of the church. At the tragic ending to the play, I believe that Shakespeare is using love and marriage to make another point as a lesson to the audience. He is saying that you should love whilst you can, as you may not always have the chance, but the most important message that the audience receives is that it sometimes takes drastic measures to solve disputes and that things do not always work out as you expect they will. ...read more.

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