What literary devices are used to portray whether Romeo and Juliet is more about Love or Hate

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What literary devices are used to portray whether Romeo and Juliet is more about Love or Hate? With reference to the audiences response Romeo and Juliet was written by Shakespeare at a relatively early juncture in his literary career, most probably in 1594 or 1595. The play was an experimental stage piece at the time of its composition, featuring several radical departures from long-standing conventions. These innovative aspects of the play, moreover, reinforce and embellish its principal themes. The latter include the antithesis between love and hate, fate and destiny and the handling of time (as both theme and as structural element). The primary theme is, arguably, the contrast between love and hate. Shakespeare utilizes many literary devices as a way of representing love and hate; whether that is dialogue, the correlative use of a light/dark polarity or action. Each technique not only represents the two emotions, it represents which emotion is the dominating theme. The play begins, with a fourteen line sonnet, The Prologue. The obvious function of the Prologue - an introduction to the play - can obscure its deeper, more important function.


She also describes him as someone "Which ten times faster glides than the sun's beams/Driving back shadows over lowering hills"(II.v.4-5). However, despite all the aforementioned positive references to light in the play, it ultimately takes on a negative role, forcing the lovers to part at dawn 'The sun rises, I must be gone and live, or stay and die (III.V.10-1). From this point on, darkness becomes the central motif. Romeo acknowledges this, exclaiming: "More light and light: more dark and dark our woes!" (III.v.36).The final indication that darkness has prevailed comes from The Prince: "A glooming peace this morning with it brings/The sun for sorrow will not show his head" (V.III.304-5). The light and dark imagery employed by Shakespeare, signifies that hatred is the overriding theme in Romeo and Juliet. The change from light imagery to dark imagery in Act III scene V. is pivotal in the conflict between love and hate. Darkness conquering light is representative of the hatred triumphing over love. The uncivil, Elizabethan audience would have been engrossed by the varying conflicts that are woven into every line of the play.


The audience would have been able to identify with Mercutio for the Elizabethan society generally believed that a man too much in love lost his manliness. To conclude, I feel that although the play's primary theme is universally depicted as love, there is compelling evidence to suggest otherwise. Many devices used by Shakespeare present hatred as the over-riding theme, his employment of light/dark polarity, in which the darkness triumphs over the light, is in my opinion, Shakespeare hinting at hatred conquering love. After all, it was the family's hatred that ultimately sealed the lovers doom. It was Romeo's hatred of Tybalt that separated the lovers. The sudden, fatal violence in the first scene of Act III, as well as the build-up to the fighting, serves as a reminder that, for all its emphasis on love, beauty, and romance, Romeo and Juliet still takes place in a masculine world in which notions of honour, pride, and hatred are prone to erupt in a fury of conflict. The viciousness and dangers of the play's social environment is a dramatic tool that Shakespeare employs to make the lovers' romance seem even more precious and fragile-their relationship is the audience's only respite from the brutal world pressing against their love. 911 words ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - Edward Fry

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