Love and Hate in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Love and Hate in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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'Romeo and Juliet' is a play written by William Shakespeare. A prologue is included at the start of the play, which portrays the tragedy between 'star-cross'd lovers'. Elizabethans believed that their fate is in the stars and the prologue increases the anticipation as it shows the way they are destined. Shakespeare has also included devices to dramatise the themes of love and hate throughout the play. In Elizabethan times the audience were involved in the ongoing play. Shakespeare involves the audience in scenes such as the ballroom scene (Act 1, Scene 5.) In Act 1, Scene 5 Romeo enters an enemy?s ball where he and Juliet fall in love for the first time, which angers Tybalt.

At the end of Act 1, Scene 4 the mood is foreboding as Romeo believes that things could go wrong at the ball which he was to intrude on. He shows his fear by saying:
?I fear to early, for my mind misgive some consequences yet hanging in the stars?
Romeo shows his fear by saying ?fear too early?. This suggests that he believes something there was something not right which made him highly anxious. There is a use of dramatic irony as the audience already know that there was to be problems because of the prologue, which makes keeps the interest from the audience. Elizabethans believed that their fate and destiny is written in the stars. The phrase ?hanging in the stars? which Romeo commented to himself, implies his destiny is in the stars, and it also suggests that because it is in the stars then the Elizabethan audience know definitely that here are going to be ?consequences?.

In the beginning of Act, Scene 5 the mood changes from worrying to joyful, as the guests begin to enter the ball which is held by Capulet who is welcoming them. The mood is uplifting because the party is ready to start. The joyful mood is shown when Capulet says:
?Welcome, Gentlemen! Ladies that have toes
Unplagu?d with corns will walk a bout with you.?
The mood has changed quite drastically from the end of Act 1, Scene 4 to Act 1, Scene 5. This is show by when Capulet is welcoming people to the ball, ?Welcome, Gentlemen!? His excitement showed through the exclamation mark, which suggests that Capulet is full of energy which would lift the spirits of anyone who was to enter. The quotation creates the image of people bustling in, smiling and ready for the party.

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When Capulet says ?Ladies that have toes/ Unplagu?d with corns?, he is trying to keep the mood up, by almost forcing the women to dance but he makes a joke to keep the mood high.

At the beginning of the play ?Romeo and Juliet?, Romeo is in love with Rosaline. Although it is unrequited love which then makes Romeo to begin to feel depressed.
?Why then, O brawling love, O loving hate
O anything, of nothing first create.?
This implies that Romeo feels quite distraught by the unrequited love of Rosaline and by saying ?O brawling love, O loving hate?, it also implies that he is confused and unsure of why it is happening to him. The repetition of ?O? shows that Romeo is sighing out of despair, suggesting he thinks himself off insignificance. Shakespeare uses an oxymoron (?O brawling love, O loving hate?) which emphasizes Romeo?s confusion and depression. ?Brawling love? creates the impression that it does not make sense to him, and that he loves Rosaline. However the phrase ?loving hate? suggests that she does not love him back, which puts Romeo into a very depressive mood.

When Romeo first sees Juliet he falls in love with her straight away. Romeo becomes obsessed with Juliet as he feels it is love at first sight. Although he does not know yet that she is part of the Capulets (the enemies.) The true love that is shared between Romeo and Juliet is indicated by:
?It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As a rich jewel in an Ethiop?s ear?
Shakespeare shows the theme of love by when Romeo first catches a glance of Juliet and the fact of love at first sight is exaggerated by the way he speaks of her, using metaphorical language, ?As a rich jewel in an Ethiop?s ear?. It means that she stands out from a dark-skinned person, it implies that she stands out of the crowds past anyone and everyone. Throughout Romeos soliloquy of him talking constantly about Juliet and how much he loves her, he refers a lot to light sources such as ?Riches jewel?, ?torches to burn bright? and ?a snowy dove?, to show how beautiful she is using poetic exaggeration, to show that she stands out and she is his true love.

While Tybalt is at the Capulet ball he catches sight of Romeo who is a Montague. Tybalt feels strongly about the war between the Capulets and the Montagues. Tybalt becomes enraged at the thought of Romeo?s intrusion on the Capulet ball:
?This by his voice should be a Montague.
Fetch me my rapier, boy.?
Shakespeare shows the theme of hate by using the imperative verb ?Fetch?. This suggests that Tybalt is full of anger as he is commanding rather than asking. This creates a tense, hateful atmosphere which is very different compared to the true love which was portrayed by Romeo. Who was obviously recognised by Tybalt as he refers to Romeo as a Montague which is Tybalt?s deadliest enemy, which he has a very strong grudge against. As Tybalt asked for his ?rapier? which is his sword it implies that he has the intention of hurting or even killing Romeo due to the fact that he has so much hate built up inside of him. As the audience already knows due to the prologue that Romeo and Juliet die because of the feud between their families, this keeps them interested and keeps them in suspense.

As Tybalt complains to Capulet about the intrusion of Romeo, Capulet convinces Tybalt to wait until after the party. Tybalt may agree to waiting but the rage is still inside being built up and it was soon to be let off. Tybalt shows his hate further by saying:
?I will withdraw, but this intrusion shall
Now seeming sweet will convert to the bitt?rst gall.?
As Tybalt waits it increases the tension, which keeps the audience hooked in. ?Withdraw? means he will leave although it suggests that he does not want to leave, as he still would prefer to have revenge on Romeo. This is shown more when he says ?Now seeming sweet? as it implies that everything seems fine it may not stay that way, as Tybalt is still ready to take revenge on Romeo but he is waiting for the correct time to take revenge. The phrase continues to say ?convert to the bitt?rst gall? which carries on the theme of hate as ?gall? means poison. Shakespeare uses dramatic irony once again as the audience already know that Romeo and Juliet die due to poison, so the audience know that their deaths will be somehow related to Tybalt however they will not know how.

Shakespeare changes from the hate theme quickly to the love theme, using a form of love poetry called a sonnet. Romeo and Juliet show their love to one another in the form of a sonnet, Juliet unusually answers back in a flirtatious way to Romeo as women of the Elizabethan time wouldn?t usually do this. Romeo begins with:
?I profane with my unworthiest hand
This holy shrine, the gentle sin in this??
Romeo says this to Juliet in the first quatrain of the sonnet, trying to portray his love towards Juliet. He constantly puts himself down to make Juliet look better when referring to his hand as ?unworthiest?. In Elizabethan times men put themselves down to make women who they love and care for, look and feel better, which Romeo was doing. Romeo refers to Juliet?s hand as ?holy shrine?, this is another example of Romeo making Juliet look and feel better this time he refers to religious imagery. This suggests that Juliet is of great importance to him and that it is true love. As Elizabethans are very religious and by referring to religious imagery makes it of a lot more importance than normal. The audience can tell it is a moment of true love as it has a separate mood to bustling scene which is around them.

Shakespeare continues to present true love between Romeo and Juliet using the sonnet. In the second quatrain Juliet replies to Romeo in a flirtatious way by saying:
?Good pilgrim you do wrong your hands too much?
Juliet in the sonnet begins to flirt with Romeo, this implies that she does have feelings for Romeo, even if she tries not to show that she does. Juliet refers to Romeo as ?Good pilgrim? which means a religious traveller. It suggests that she does have an interest in him as she uses religious imagery. When Romeo shows his feelings toward Juliet unlike many women in the Elizabethan she replied with flirting. She answers back by saying ?you do wrong your hands too much?, this creates the impression that she loves him so much that she doesn?t care if she is made special or not.

At the end of Act 1, Scene 5 of ?Romeo and Juliet?, the mood changes very quickly as soon as both Romeo and Juliet find out that each others families are enemies, and that this may affect them being together. Romeo shows her feeling when saying:
?O dear account! My life is my foe?s debt.?
Romeo feels like he owes his life to the Capulet?s as he loves Juliet who is a member of the Capulet family. The exclamation mark shows shock, it also implies that he did not know who she was at all before he fell in love with her. By not knowing who she was and just falling in love with her on just looks and nothing else, it creates the impression that Romeo is very shallow. However it does not mean he did not love her because he became distraught on the fact that she was from the enemy?s family. When Romeo says ?foe?s? it suggests that he still thinks of them as enemies, which implies that he would become very confused and unsure of what he should do.

When Juliet finds out that Romeo is from the enemy?s family she reacts very upset. Although she has fallen in love with Romeo and she can not help it. She shows her true love and her upset by:
?My only love sprung from my only hate!
Too early seen unknown, and known too late!?
Juliet doesn?t want to fall in love with Romeo due to the fact that they should hate each other, although her love for Romeo conquers the fact that she may loose the respect of her family. ?Sprung from my only hate? suggests that she only has one hate but she also has only one love and that they collide implies that she is very upset and unsure of what to do just like Romeo. ?Too early? and ?Too late? suggests that even though it is impossible to tell what is to come, it is not possible to stop it happening as it is already in action. The theme of love is contrasted with the theme of hate and the same time here, as Romeo and Juliet?s love is high the hate of the family is getting in the way. As before it was purely about either just hate or just love made it less confusing and more happy for love and angry for hate, but now that they cross over it is a lot more confusing for both Romeo and Juliet.

Shakespeare keeps the themes of love and hate continuously changing throughout the Act 1, Scene 5 to keep the audience interested. Romeo and Juliet?s love for one and another is shown through many ways, but the most effective way was through the sonnet. Tybalt?s passion for revenge on the enemy?s family shows the theme of hate, especially when he refers to ?gall? meaning poison. Shakespeare uses many devices such as metaphorical language, so there themes of love and hate are more effective.
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