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Discuss how the theme of love is presented in Shakespeares Romeo and Juliet

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Introduction

Discuss how the theme of love is presented in Shakespeare?s Romeo and Juliet? Throughout his tragedy, Romeo and Juliet, William Shakespeare employs a variety of dramatic and language techniques to present the universal theme of love. Shakespeare portrays love as a powerful human emotion that transcends all prejudices and disputes, drawing on romantic ideas evident in the translated roman poem ?The Tragical Historye of Romeus and Juliet,? by Arthur Brooke to create an Elizabethan Era play written in 1597 for an audience of all classes. He provides an insight to the power relations that existed in Elizabethan society, whose attitudes towards marriage were inclined towards an arrangement to increase the wealth and power of the family and less about love. Shakespeare deeply delves into the themes of adolescent/lustful, romantic and platonic love- representing and conveying them to the audience through interactions between key characters, development of dramatic imagery and language scripted in the Old English format. All of these themes are still relevant today, over four hundred years after the play was written. ...read more.

Middle

This is evident in the balcony scene where both Romeo and Juliet confess their love for one another with Romeo stating, ?It is my lady; O, it is my love,?(2.2.10) in reference to Juliet out on the balcony. This use of power and enlightenment in Romeo?s dialogue emphasizes how sacred and pure his love for her is. When Juliet replies, ?Or, if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love,? it details her requited love for Romeo- a feeling not expressed during Romeo?s desire for Rosaline. With both Romeo and Juliet expressed to be repeatedly longing for one another?s companionship, the audience witnesses Romeo?s emotional evolution, as his idea of love is shown to mature from that of adolescent lust and desire to that associated with ?true love? today. The fact that Romeo and Juliet?s love is forbidden also enhances the excitement within their romantic relationship and allows Shakespeare to further involve the audience. The famous line spoken by Juliet; ?My only love sprung from my only hate,?(1.v.136) ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare states, ?As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee,?(1.1.57) in Tybalt?s dialogue, portraying to the audience his willingness to follow along with views of his family. Modern day patriotism and love for one?s identity can be related to this theme portrayed by Shakespeare, with both era?s possessing few that are truly loyal and selfless to those that mean to them. As implied in Romeo and Juliet, love has potential to be a damaging emotion that has great force to draw people into irrationality. Love is a key theme presented by William Shakespeare in his renowned tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. Through the employment of a variety of dramatic techniques, language and character development, Shakespeare depicts love as a powerful emotion that transcends common values and morals associated with the Elizabethan Era. His portrayals of romantic, yet forbidden, love between Romeo and Juliet is ever developing throughout the play. Shakespeare also delves deeply into the themes of parental and platonic love, entwining ideas not commonly associated in the modern era between ?lovers?. The play has become an iconic story of love and passion, and the name ?Romeo? is still used to describe young lovers. ...read more.

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