A Comparison of Love in Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest

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The Phenomenon of Love in Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest

We know from the very opening scene of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo and Juliet's love will end in

tragedy. We may wonder why Miranda and Ferdinand in The Tempest do not end up with the

same fate as Romeo and Juliet. Both couples are from opposing political families. Both couples

are enraptured with their lovers. Why then does Romeo and Juliet end with their death's and the

Tempest end with Miranda and Ferdinand's marriage plan? In this paper I will argue that

according to Shakespeare reason needs to guide the souls of lovers to avoid tragedy and find

bliss. I will do this by examining and comparing William Shakespeare's plays; Romeo and Juliet

and The Tempest. The main sections of my argument will be; the phenomenon of love

according to Shakespeare, love ending in tragedy, love ending in bliss and the conclusion.

The Phenomenon of Love

The phenomenon of love is such that when two souls first fall into love, their passions and

desires can be engaged without reason. Their thoughts are consumed by their desires for the

object of their love. Those desires are only concerned with being satisfied, and not if that

satisfaction is good for either person. We can see this phenomenon in both plays. Romeo and

Juliet have only a desire to be together after meeting at the Capulet's supper, even though their

families are at war with each other. They do not pause and ask if their relationship is good for

themselves, or those emotionally connected to them. In The Tempest, when Ferdinand and

Miranda first meet, Ferdinand wants to make Miranda his queen and Miranda feels that "there's

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---. "The Tempest" 1610. Clark and Wright 971-992

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