Explore how the two feelings of love & duty conflict with Juliet.

Authors Avatar by jamiejc (student)

Romeo & Juliet

Explore how the two feelings of love & duty conflict with Juliet

In this essay I will be exploring Shakespeare’s famous play ‘Romeo and Juliet’. Shakespeare uses the character Juliet to reflect how the 2 feelings of love and duty conflict. Romeo and Juliet are two characters who fall in love in spite of everything and get married secretly, without the agreement of any of the adults. I will be concentrating on act 1 scene 5, act 2 scene 2, act 3 scene 2 and act 3 scene 5, to analyse how Juliet’s conflicting feelings of love and duty interfere with their wish of being together resulting in them rebelling against her family causing Juliet to be confused about what to do.

In act 1 scene 5 Juliet meets with Romeo for the first time and she instantly falls for him, without any knowledge on who he is. Juliet falls deeply in love with Romeo and desperately desires to be his ‘bride.’ this is reflected through the quote “my grave is like to be my wedding bed.” this simile emphasis the fact that Juliet holds great affection for Romeo and would be devastated without him. The words “grave” suggests death in-comparison to “wedding -bed” which should be a place of new beginnings with the person that you love. By using these two contrasting images, Shakespeare is suggesting that Juliet will die before she marries any other man but Romeo.  Furthermore, Shakespeare is trying to show the extremeness of Juliet’s love as this quote suggests that Juliet won’t get married, she’ll only get married to Romeo and if he’s married, she’ll die unmarried as well as giving up on love altogether which Shakespeare also explores the theme of fate and this  quote foreshadows the tragic death of Juliet. I think that Shakespeare has evidently kept foreshadowing the image of death so it maintains an atmosphere of impending tragedy in act 1 scene 5 but all throughout the play as a whole. However this reminds us how one person can sacrifice to be with one else in the first place, which Shakespeare clearly demonstrates above that people who are in love cannot be separated, which shows how extreme and powerful love can be. As Shakespeare attempts to convey a message that love and duty conflict together this leads to unpleasant endings; the fate of Romeo and Juliet is ominous. As different people have different priorities, some give preference to love over wealth and for some wealth is love.

Juliet’s love is portrayed again in act 1 scene 5 which is evidenced through the quote “my only love sprung from my only hate” This quote shows that Juliet loves Romeo more than anything, in contrast this is ironic because Juliet was raised to hate Romeo’s family with whom her family had a long on going rivalry. The verb “sprung” suggest this would have been a huge shock to the Elizabethan audience as they would expect Juliet to hate Romeo after his identity of being a Montague is unfolded. Shakespeare tries to convey that love should be a priority and it should have a greater value and respect within the society. This implies that even after a little while she already loves Romeo too much; as Juliet expresses the extremeness of her love for Romeo however she acknowledges her duty towards her family by calling Romeo her ‘hate’ (enemy) this shows she is honouring her family whilst portraying love towards Romeo.  Furthermore this shows how she honours her family and their decisions yet she still loves Romeo but she understands how she should respect them. I think that Shakespeare is attempting to convey a message, which Shakespeare shows that love is extremely important if we desire peace in the society and families. But old traditions which hold no value should not be dragged and imposed on to the newer generations; as they are likely not to understand their importance and will rise up against their parents, which could cause distress in many relationships, such as parent and child relationship.

Join now!

Shakespeare shows the extremeness of Juliet’s love in Act 2 scene 2 where Juliet calls out for Romeo and questions certain aspects of her life. As conflict of Juliet’s feelings can be seen in act 2 scene 2 where she says “deny thy father, refuse thy name” Juliet uses imperatives “deny” and “refuse” which suggest she is prepared to do anything to be with Romeo. She no longer wants to follow what her father tells her to do which shows how powerful love can actually be. She shows no duty by saying forget my father, I just want you ...

This is a preview of the whole essay