The Theme of Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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The Theme of Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet The main theme in 'Romeo and Juliet' is love, and how it occurs in

many forms. There are a number of different types of love in 'Romeo

and Juliet'. Some examples of the types of love in Romeo and Juliet

are Romeo's fashionable love for Rosaline, the Nurse's bawdy view of

love and the Capulet's unromantic view of love. All of these types of

love are in contrast to the main type of love expressed by Romeo and

Juliet which is true love.

We can see that at the beginning, Romeo is lovesick for a girl called

Rosaline. Rosaline is a woman that we do not find much about, but

before meeting Juliet. Romeo is very much infatuated by her because it

was trendy in the Elizabethan Era for young men to pursue unattainable

women that were usually older, wealthier, of a higher class, or that

had sworn a vow of chastity. With this in mind, it was natural for

Romeo to fall for a beautiful woman like Rosaline, who had sworn a vow

of chastity, "She'll not be hit/ With Cupid's arrow…And in strong

proof of chastity". His love for her was not returned, which resulted

in Romeo becoming the typical lovesick character, which was

fashionable in that era.

Furthermore, we learn that Romeo's love for Rosaline is not only

fashionable, but also superficial - he is only attracted to her

because of her looks; "The all-seeing sun/ Ne'er saw her match since

first the world begun". Romeo states that Rosaline is...

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...e contrast to the

type of love displayed by all of the other characters and shows that

Capulet, in a sense does not really believe in love.

In conclusion, in 'Romeo and Juliet', throughout the play, there is a

very powerful view of love. The view of the power of love is expressed

in its strongest form at the very end of the play when the two main

characters, Romeo and Juliet die for each other. This shows that not

only that love surpasses death, but love overcomes death. Furthermore,

probably the most significant quality that love does is the fact that

it ends the 'ancient' rivalry between the two families, as they must

join together because of the love of Romeo and Juliet. We can also see

that all of the other types of love, bawdy love, moderate love etc.

are in contrast to the main type of love that is true love.
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