Love in Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado about Nothing

Love in Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado about Nothing

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Many of Shakespeare's plays show a strong theme of love. Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing deal primarily with the issue of true and false love. Romeo and Juliet, tragic play, is about two lovers who struggle, sacrifice, and defy their families and society for the sake of love that changes them completely. Although the end of Romeo and Juliet's story is death both of the lovers, their love turns to be immortal. Much Ado About Nothing, comedy play, is about two lovers who their relationship starts as child like and develops to be true love that motives the lovers to sacrifice in order to keep their love. The two plays deal also with the idea of false love. Romeo, the hero of Romeo and Juliet, thinks that he loves Rosaline, but when he meets Juliet, the heroin of Romeo and Juliet, he falls in love with her, forgetting his love to Rosaline. In Much Ado About Nothing, the relationship between Claudio and Hero's, main characters in the play, is based on wealth and appearance attraction. Conventional love is another kind of that is shown in Romeo and Juliet, where it develops in social situations without any consideration to emotions.

Although true love is a dominant theme in both plays Romeo and Juliet and Much Ado About Nothing, there are differences in the way that true love is developed in both of them and the changes it makes in the personality of the lovers. In Romeo and Juliet love between the two lovers, Romeo and Juliet, is more passionate and romantic, springing up at first sight between them. Love controls and changes both of them completely, turning them to more simple and pure; it affects their language that turns to be really the language of their heart. Romeo becomes a lover poet, expressing his love to Juliet by comparing her to the sun, "Juliet is the sun" (2.2.3) and to stars, describing here as an angel and a messenger of heaven, "o, speak again, bright angel, for though art/ As is winged messenger of heaven" (2.2.26-28). The language that the both lovers use is an important instrument to show and to express their love. The change in Juliet's behavior is noticeable. Whereas she used to obey the authority of her nurse, she now defies authority. This is a sure sign of her emerging independence, and is a crucial factor in understanding her decision to marry Romeo and defy her parents.

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While in Much ado About Nothing, love between Beatrice and Benedick is developed love which starts up almost child-like. Both of them are strong-welled, intelligent characters, who believe that falling in love will lead to a loss of freedom and heart break, what causes them to deny their love for each other and it is only through the machination of their friends that their true emotions emerge. When these feelings are finally acknowledged, both characters are changed, but the changes are subtle. Both remain who they were before, but now they the two are one, both are really the true soul mates of the story in that they truly seem to be of the same heart, and two halves of the same one. The process which Beatrice and Benedick are tricked suggests that they are only willing to believe what they hear, when Benedick decides that Beatrice loves him, he decides to be "horribly in love with her" (2.3.231); he then does his best to court her according to the fashion of courtly love. The testing and challenging evidently shows that Beatrice and Benedick's love is real. Their relation is more realistic, with no other characters involved.

However, there is a kind of similarity in the way that the lovers' personalities are affected by, where true love has no limits and where the lovers are ready to sacrifice. True love drives Romeo and Juliet to sacrifice, to struggle against all the problems between their families, and to deny the entire social world, especially their families and to challenge their parental authority. True love finds its way by arranging Romeo and Juliet's marriage; despite of Romeo's exile and the danger involved in Romeo's staying in Verona overnight, by preventing Paris from marrying Juliet, and through the death to unite the lovers eternally. True love leads Benedick to do whatever his love, Beatrice, asks him to do. He challenges Claudio, previously his closest friend in the world, to duel to the death over Claudio's accusation as to Hero's unchaste behavior, "enough, I am engag'd; I will challenge him" (4.1.327), exactly as what Beatrice asks him to do.

Another kind of love focused in the two plays is false love. Romeo, before he meets Juliet, thinks that he loves Rosaline, believing that she is the girl of his dreams, praising her beauty, and moaning about her not returning his love. Romeo forgets his love to Rosaline at the first moment he sees Juliet. False love is also presented in Claudio and Hero's relationship. Their love is not deep felt love and respect. Claudio seeks the opinion of his friends to reinforce his judgment on Hero, showing that he is not convinced of his feelings. Their love is a deceived love as their eyes have been captured by the others appearance and wealth, rather than their true feelings and testing each other. Claudio does not love Hero for what she really is, rather than for her beauty but for her name and status. This is proved when Claudio reacts angrily over the discovery from Don John, the villain of the play, of Hero's apparent infidelity. Claudio asks "is this face hero's", telling us that Claudio had discovered that Hero's appearance does not correspond to the innocent Hero enough, he lacks the trust and respect for her hat should feature in any loving relationship. Claudio accuses Hero publicly in front of her friends and family regarding Hero's virginity, "There, Leonato, take her back again: / Give not this rotten orange to your friend; / She's but the sign and semblance of her honor" (4.1.31-33). Moreover, Claudio and Hero rarely talk directly to one another and are never alone together.

Another kind of love presented in Romeo and Juliet is conventional love. Conventional love is developed in the social situation of arranged marriage. Paris, a young noble man, offers his wealth as an exchange to Juliet's beauty. He asks for her hand before he has ever met her personally; there is no emotion here, it is just convenience and proper social matching.

Love is a central theme in both of the plays, Much Ado About Nothing and Romeo and Juliet. True and false are shown in the two plays, where true love affects the lovers and develops differently in each play. Conventional love is anther kind of love that is presented only in Romeo and Juliet.

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