Excitement and Dangers of First Love in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Excitement and Dangers of First Love in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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Shakespeare shows both the excitement and the dangers of first love using a range of structure and language devices to show how each character feels. He uses a wide range of metaphors to describe Romeo’s thoughts of Juliet and structures the play full of opposites and contrasts to show the light of love and the darkness of death and violence.
In Act 1 Scene 5, Romeo and Juliet first meet each other in the party. This is a significant scene in the play as this is the start of the event that ultimately leads to their demise. When Romeo first see Juliet, his excitement shows through the imagery he uses to emphasise how much her beauty contrasts with the other people in the room. For example, he says ‘Oh she doth teach the torches to burn bright’. This metaphor emphasises the way in which she stands out in contrast to the rest of the guests and how brightly she seems to shine to him, with this contrast being further emphasised by the dimly lit room. ‘Burn bright’ could suggest both light and heat, as if she is the sun in the room. He also describes Juliet as ‘a snowy dove trooping with crows’. This simile tells us that he thinks that Juliet stands out above every person in the room and that she is more beautiful than any other girl. However, Tybalt hears Romeo and becomes a threat to the love between Romeo and Juliet. He says, ‘to strike him dead, I hold not a sin’. This phrase tells us that he will not hesitate to kill Romeo, which may be a way of Shakespeare foreshadowing a fight between Romeo and Tybalt.
The excitement is developed through their first meeting as Romeo and Juliet are shown to be lightly flirting with each other, using words of the vocabulary of religion, to represent words of the vocabulary of the body. When they m...


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...eparate them forever. Then Juliet says, ‘follow thee my lord throughout the world’, which foreshadows their death at the end of the play, causing the audience to wait in anticipation for the scene that will appear. The nurse’s inherent shouts also remind us that she might be getting suspicious, and this could mean danger to the plans of Romeo and Juliet so they decide to end their conversation with a goodbye.
In conclusion, Shakespeare shows both the excitement and dangers of first love by structuring the play to show us both the sweet moments between Romeo and Juliet, yet effectively adding in moments when the audience would feel a sense of danger, i.e. when Tybalt hears Romeo. The anticipation of the forthcoming of their marriage builds excitement and tension, and gives us the knowing feeling that something bad will happen that will separate them, if not briefly.

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