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Themes of Love and Hate in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Satisfactory Essays
Themes of Love and Hate in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a play about two young lovers, whose love was

destined for destruction from the beginning because of the hatred

between the two families, Montagues and Capulets. Therefore, the

themes of love and hate are very important in the play as the plot is

driven by these two themes. Shakespeare brings out the love between

the two rivals through Romeo and Juliet and their relationships with

the Friar and the Nurse.

I want to argue that in the play, the themes of love and hate are

closely linked. To show this, I have selected some of the most

important scenes in the play, which illustrate the idea that love and

hate are closely bound together. The first example is the chorus,

which is found at the beginning of the play, in the prologue. It is a

short summary of what the play is about. The chorus is in the form of

a sonnet and sonnets were often associated with love in the time of

Shakespeare. However, the words of the chorus seem to emphasize the

idea of hate although there are some words about love.

“From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,

Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.” (Prologue, 3-4)

These two lines are about the feud between the families. It shows that

it is a feud, which has been brewing for many years. By repeating the

words civil, Shakespeare is stressing the fact that they are all

civilians but the pride within each family has led them to violence

and evil.

The play then goes straight from the prologue into a brawl in the

first scene between both houses. It begins with servants from the two

houses but later Tybalt, the son of the Capulets, and Benvolio arrive.

Tybalt, during the brawl, says to Benvolio about the idea of peace,

“As I hate hell, all Montagues, and thee.” (1.1.65) These are powerful

words as Tybalt is ranking Benvolio and all the Montagues at the same