Comparing Different Types of Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Comparing Different Types of Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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Comparing Different Types of Love in William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet


The three different examples of love between Romeo and Juliet, Romeo
and Rosaline and Paris and Juliet do share some similar aspects, but
they also have their own differences. These three different types of
love show us the variations of love and how it can mask itself into
different forms.

Romeo's 'love' for Rosaline. He was portrayed as a Petrarchan lover
and his 'love' was simply an infatuation. He did not take time to know
Rosaline or understand her, but thought that he truly loved her. In
actual fact, he was only attracted to her because of her beauty; "The
all-seeing sun/Ne'er saw her match since first the world begun." Romeo
knows that Rosaline does not love him, that the relationship is not
mutual. Romeo became depressed when he realised that Rosaline did not
love him. He was moody and withdrawn. His use of oxymorons such as
"bright smoke, cold fire, sick health" shows his uncertainty and
confusion of this 'love' he has for Rosaline. Romeo's love for
Rosaline is clearly infatuation, which really is not true love.

Similarly, we question Paris' 'love' for Juliet. Did he really love
her? His love for Juliet was not as straightforward. He did not even
know Juliet, probably falling for her beauty rather that loving her
for who she really was. It was probably superficial, but we cannot
completely ignore his attempts to show 'love'. He risks his reputation
as a noble by visiting Juliet's grave in the dead of the night so
secretly and suspiciously. Also, when Romeo kills him he asks to be
put in her tomb, "If thou be merciful, Open the tomb, lay me with ...


... middle of paper ...


...d be one that was approved
and acknowledged. Not like the one between Romeo and Juliet, where the
choice to get wedded was based purely on their own decision and not
one that was consulted with their own parents. Compared with Romeo's
love for Rosaline, his best friends knew about it, Benvolio having
found out when he spoke to Romeo, and probably telling Mercutio. It
wasn't a total secret but was kept hidden from his parents.

It is obvious that the love Romeo has for Juliet is true and deep, it
is also reciprocated, unlike the one between Romeo and Rosaline, and
Paris and Juliet. Also, the three relationships showed signs of
hastiness and rashness, which resulted in a short-lived and rather
brief relationship. However, the love did affect the characters in
some way or other and had changed Romeo into a better person.

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