Love, or a lack of it, is a very central theme in Romeo and Juliet and
often is the root of many arguments in the play. It is very difficult
to group love as just one thing as there are many versions of it.
A love which the capulets particularly, seem to possess is a love of
material possessions and power. For example, the Capulet ball (and
subsequent plans for the marriage) is an indication of wealth and the
ability to entertain on a lavish scale. Thus Shakespeare creates an
atmosphere of ease and opulence.
At the end of the play Shakespeare makes the point that no amount of
wealth and power, no statues erected in pure gold, can replace the
lives that are lost. By pursuing wealth and status, the Capulets
sacrifice the irreplaceable life of their only daughter.
Closely allied to the theme of love and of material possessions is the
love of parents for their children - and the manner in which,
specifically, the two main characters respond to such care and
In the early scenes of the play Juliet is obedient to her parents'
wishes, prepared to go along with their suggestions. There is a
naivety about her answer: "I'll look to like, if looking move. / But
no more deep will I endart mine eye / Than your
consent gives strength to make it fly".
However, once she has discovered true love, Juliet changes and
matures. No longer is she the obedient and willing daughter. Instead
she chooses to side with her husband, as opposed to her family - even
in the face of loosing Tybalt who she speaks of as 'the best friend I
ever had' she still refers to Rom...
... middle of paper ...
...f the play as we see the two
families finally reconciled after so much strife.
Shakespeare believes in the healing influence of love, to 'conquer
all' as true love knows no limits. It drives Romeo and Juliet to
ignore the barriers of family feud and to defy parental authority. It
finds a way to consummate a marriage in spite of Romeo's exile and the
danger involved in his staying in Verona overnight. It finds a way to
prevent Juliet from marrying Paris. It finds a way, through death, to
unite the lovers eternally. Romeo and Juliet have become immortal by
the power of their passionate love. Here, as in so many of his other
plays, we see something positive emerge from human suffering and
personal commitment. The sacrifice of the two young people is not in
vain. The price is
been heavy - but healing takes place.
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