Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy, by William Shakespeare, based on the
theme of love. This love is presented in many different manifestations
such as infatuation and unrequited love. This play is carefully
written to show desires, emotions and family life.

To the start of the play Romeo is talking of how his love has been
'vexed' he describes love as being a 'wise madness' a 'deadly poison'
and a 'healing medicine'. This type of love he is describing in
unrequited love, a love that is not returned, in this case it is not
returned by Rosaline whom Romeo believes he is in love with. This love
is contrasting to a situation coming about in the Capulet family,
Paris'loves' Juliet but his love is not returned.

William Shakespeare uses his language and words carefully. Sampson and
Gregory talk of sex in a crude nature and speak of women as
subordinate. The feuding has turned their minds so much that they
would even rape the Montague women. They now do not know what true
love is anymore. When in 'love' with Rosaline, Romeo tries to express
the fact that love has a fatal power, he talks of two conflicting
sides 'is love a tender thing….and it pricks like a thorn'. Benvolio
also feels that the cure to solve Romeo's love is to love another:
"Tut, man, one fire burns out another's burning". Romeo is the
stereotypical Courtly lover who pines for the love of a woman who is
unobtainable. Romeo illustrates what was expected of a courtly lover:
He stays in sycamore groves," Where underneath the grove of sycamore".
He shuts himself away banished from society, preferring night to day,
"Shuts up windows…. himself an artificial night", from this we seem to
get the impression that Romeo is in love with the idea of being in
love. The overuse of these oxymoron's in his speech makes the effect
become artificial. "Feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick
health and still-waking sleep'. Romeo wants to be a courtly lover so

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he uses the language he expects lovers to use, but he uses too much so
that it begins to seem forced.

Romeo's second speech is a very intellectual use of wording:" Being
purged, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes, being vexed, a sea nourished
with loving tears". This speech shows us the two sides of love -
happiness and rejection. A courtly lover like Romeo sees both these
sides of love although Romeo seems to rarely see the happy side.
Rosaline does not want anything to do with him but Romeo still thinks
that he is so in love that he has lost his identity."Tut, I have lost
myself; I am not here; this is not Romeo, he's some other where.'
Romeo proves he is not listening to anyone including himself when
friar Lawrence tells him, 'by doing damned hate upon thyself' meaning
if you kill yourself you will be damned, yet Romeo at the end goes
ahead and commits suicide.

Juliet seems anxious with impatience for her love, she also seems to
want what she can't have. Juliet too uses oxymoron's to describe a
side of Romeo she never knew 'beautiful tyrant, fiend angelical,
dove-feathered raven and wolfish-ravening lamb' Romeo does this
earlier to describe love. Her views on love seemed to be summed up in
one paragraph, when she talks of when Romeo will come, she only talks
of what they will do, she does not talk of love only sex, 'thou
sober-suited matron …. Upon a ravens back' this could show she still
sees love in an immature way and so therefore does not know what love
is.

William Shakespeare writes Romeo as falling for Juliet by just looking
at her; this could indicate that their love is not real 'did my heart
know love….sight'. Juliet falls for the same problem where she has
only just encountered Romeo and is talking of loving him 'my only love
sprung from my only hate' this statement also shows she understands
the reality of the problem with loving Romeo. This line symbolises
only trouble can come from this love. The hardships they endure make
encounters all the sweeter. Both Juliet, Mercutio and Benvolio talk of
love being blind Benvolio talks of it in the sense that Romeo is blind
to see that this love is bad for him because of the Capulet and
Montague feud, Mercutio retorts it saying if this is the case then
there is a chance Romeo wont find his target, this adds some humour to
a serious matter. Juliet later on says blind love and darkness are
good bedfellows.

William Shakespeare shows love to be more than words, these different
types of love are proved to be true in actions. Romeo shows brotherly
love when he takes action against Tybalt for killing Mercutio. He is
so devastated that he is willing to kill for Mercutio and avenge his
death. Juliet's parents may seem cold hearted but really they are
showing love for their daughter. All they want is for her to marry
into a rich family so she will be happy; they think this is what is
best for her. The reason they get frustrated and angry is because they
care for her and don't want her to make a mistake.

But the love that stands out beyond the rest, the love that overcomes
leaps and bounds, is the love between Romeo and Juliet. This love is
shown more in actions than words, Juliet puts up with the scorn and
trouble her parents are making for her just to be with her Romeo, it
shows a strong character that she manages to not let her parents
overcome her. She also puts herself on the line by going to meet Romeo
at Friar Lawrence's chapel. A lie to her parent's means serious
trouble, but she is willing to risk it to see Romeo. Romeo himself
puts his life on the line for Juliet when they first meet he does not
shy away to the fact she is a Capulet and when the party is over
climbs over the walls to see if she loves him, if he had of been
caught he would have been killed 'The orchard walls are high and hard
to climb…. find thee here.' Still undoubtedly the most awe inspiring
act of love is that they die for each other. They cannot live without
the other and would rather not exist if it meant never seeing their
lover again. This I must say is true love.
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