English Romeo and Juliet Literature
Shakespeare’s play, Romeo and Juliet, has long been recognized in western societies as the definitive romantic text. Shakespeare draws on contextual evidence from the roman poem “Pyramis and thisbe” to create romantic ideas. In the play, Shakespeare portrays love as a powerful human emotion that transcends all prejudices and disputes. Through imagery and characterisation, Shakespeare represents romantic love, platonic love and parental love. In the play, romantic love drives both Romeo and Juliet to the ultimate sacrifice of death and their selflessness of each other; platonic love is represented through Mercutio and Romeo’s strong friendship for each other and willingness to save each other’s life. Shakespeare establishes parental love through the relationship between the nurse and Juliet.
Shakespeare positions the audience to perceive romantic love as a powerful emotion and transcends all prejudices and disputes. Through Romeo and Juliet’s selflessness for one another Shakespeare depicts love, as a powerful emotion and even opposing families immersed in a bitter feud that has existed interminality cannot separate these selfless lovers, as they are oblivious to the destruction they could cause. These lovers are prepared to disobey their families and commit their loyalties for each other. When Romeo first sees Juliet, her beauty evidently strikes him. She shines out to him like 'a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear' or a 'snowy dove trooping with crows'. Romeo’s contrast between light and dark symbolizes a contrast between how he feels about Juliet and how he feels about Rosaline. He compares Juliet to light, whiteness and purity, whereas the imagery he uses when talking about Rosaline revolves around darkness. Through Juliet’s dialogue, “If they do see thee, they will murder thee.” Act 2 scene 2 Romeo selflessness is shown as he risks execution from the kinsman and enters the Capulet orchard to see his lover. Furthermore, Shakespeare depicts celestial imagery through Romeo’s soliloquy; “It is the east and Juliet is the sun” Act 2 Scene 2, Romeo is metaphorically eluding to Juliet as the centre of his life. This is shown as the sun animates life and brings all life to the earth. He goes on to state, “ Arise, fair sun, and kill the envious moon” Romeo is describing how Juliet, the sun, and the moon is envious of her. Through this soliloquy, Shakespeare positions the audience to perceive Romeo as a passionate lover that falls in love easily and become infatuated with the love.