Essay about Significant Themes Found in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

Essay about Significant Themes Found in Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

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On awakening from the long slumber of the Dark Ages, the Renaissance was a time of "rebirth" of culture in Europe. Writers of the time such as Christopher Marlowe and Sir Phillip Sydney created literature that was bold and innovative. Dramatists revived and reinvented the classical traditions of the Greeks and Romans, however no one seemed to match William Shakespeare in terms of variety, profundity, and exquisite use of language (). Known as the most famous love story in the English literary tradition, Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet tells the story of two unfortunate lovers whose deaths ultimately brings together their feuding families. In this tragedy, Shakespeare plays on the reader's emotion to portray certain themes.
The reader first feels admiration as the play opens up depicting the power of love. In Romeo and Juliet love is seen as a brutal emotion that seizes the minds of individuals and turns them against the world, and, at times, themselves. This is shown as Juliet states:
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. (RJ 2.2.33-36)
Perhaps the most famous line of the play, here Juliet, unaware that Romeo is listening, pleads that he denies his family for her love. In addition, she states that if he refuses to do so, she will deny her family in order to be with him on the condition that he declares his love for her. The struggle of tension between social life, family, and one’s inner identity, is again proven when Juliet later states:
'Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? It is nor hand, nor foot...

... middle of paper ...

...encing feelings of admiration, awe, and sympathy for a few of the most prominent themes throughout the work, the reader is allotted a better understanding of Shakespeare's work. It is important to be mindful in situations such as this, so that the outcome isn't as disastrous in today's society.

Works Cited

Crowther, John, “No Fear Romeo and Juliet.” New York, NY: SparkNotes LLC. 2003. Print
Scott, Mark W. “Romeo and Juliet.” Shakespeare For Students Book 1. Detroit, MI: Gale Research International Limited 1992. Print.
Spellberg, Matthew. "Feeling Dreams In "Romeo And Juliet.." English Literary Renaissance 43.1 (2013): 62-85. Literary Reference Center. Web. 18 Mar. 2014.
Webster, Brooke. "Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare." Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare. Web. 18 Mar. 2014..

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