love over loyalty

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Being young and in love can be overwhelming, especially when your families are rivals. That’s how it was for Romeo and Juliet, in fourteenth century Verona, Italy, where their love was forbidden. Shakespeare uses metaphor, personification, and dramatic irony to tell the story of Romeo and Juliet, how they are alike in their passion for each other, how they represent naive, innocent, irrational, stubborn teenagers “in love”, and how willing they are to risk their lives, family honor, and morals for one another.

In Act 1 Scene 5, Juliet and Romeo have just met, and already they are deeply infatuated with one another. “Go ask his name, if he be married. My grave is like to be my wedding bed” (Shakespeare 1.5.148-149). Juliet is telling the nurse to seek out Romeo and find out if he is married. If he is married, she will die because she is completely and utterly in love with him. In this scene, the use of dramatic irony is demonstrated because the audience knows that Romeo and Juliet get married, and die. After the Capulet party, Romeo decides he cannot go home without seeing Juliet again. “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun” (2.2.2-3) He declares to Juliet that love has lead him to her, and to prove his love he would propose to her the following morning. “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art thou Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse thy name, Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet” (2.1.74-78 Shakespeare). Juliet is asking Romeo to defy his family for her affection. She tells him in this scene that she would defy her family as well, and he simply has to say he loves her. Her love for Romeo overrules her destined hate for the Montague name, so much so ...

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...istic, they are so blinded by their attraction that they are unable to see their real emotions.

Romeo and Juliet are very alike in character, both of them having a natural desire for defiance and individuality and proving themselves. One of the reasons why Romeo and Juliet were made for each other is because they both are quick to fall in love, without giving it a second thought, even when the odds and their families against them. “Then I defy you, stars” (5.1.24). When Romeo discovers Juliet is dead, he curses the stars for making this their fate. Seeing Juliet “dead” prompts Romeo to kill himself, and then Juliet inevitably kills herself. Romeo defies his fate when he ironically is what made it so. Throughout the play, a recurring theme of loyalty is presented. Romeo and Juliet are consistent with their loyalty to one another, but never with their own families.
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