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

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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
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