Aspects of Love in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

Aspects of Love in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

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Aspects of Love in Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

There are many different views on love in the play. Love portrayed by
different characters at different times in the play, some characters
show more than one type of love.

The first type of love shown is sexual or physical love. It is the
most basic form of love; this is shown by Sampson and Gregory it
reduces everything to sex. Sampson says, "I will push Montague's men
from the wall, and thrust his maids to the wall"; this means that he
will rape them because of his hate for the Montague's not for the love
of the woman. Sampson's friend, Gregory, also shows this form of love.
He says, "Draw thy tool" this can be seen as taking out of the sword
or taking out of the genitalia. Later in the play the Nurse also talks
about love in its most basic form. She tries to comfort Juliet when
Romeo gets banished by saying, " his face be better than any man's".
She is concentrating on the looks of the man rather than his
personality. Mercutio also displays this view on love; he refers to
women as " pale hard-hearted wench" and "if love be rough with you, be
rough with love". These statements imply that in love you should treat
them mean to keep them keen and that all women are evil and do not
care about men emotions. The Nurse also shows this when she jokes that
"Women grow by men" and moments later is encouraging Juliet to view
Paris sympathetically and "seek happy nights to happy days".
Mercutio's conversations frequently employ bawdy references that
indicate a broad view of the relations between the sexes.

The second type of love we encounter is infatuation. This is
experienced by Romeo for Rosaline at the beginning of the play. This
infatuation is the unrequited love that is found by Romeo, he loves
Rosaline but she does not love him because she is about to go into a
nunnery. He understands that Rosaline is not to be "hit with Cupid's

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arrow yet neither is he able to forget her, nor despite the teasing of
his friends he is prepared to try and do so. Once at the Capulet ball
Romeo's first word reveal the immediate impact that seeing Juliet has
upon him. The effect Juliet has upon him is even more astonishing
given his previous strength of feeling for Rosaline

This soon turns into romantic experienced between the two main
characters of the play Romeo and Juliet. This is evident soon after
they meet at the Capulet ball, Romeo's first reaction to Juliet is
that "she doth teach the torches to burn bright". When he catches
sight of her in the orchard, she is the "light through yonder window".
Juliet shares this view of love. Initially, she is suspicious of the
suddenness of the feeling, fearing it is like lightening "which doth
cease to be ere one can say, "It Lightens"", yet by the wedding night
she is making a comparison to the radiant quality of Romeo's love:

"…..when I shall die

take him and cut him out in little stars,

And he will make the face of heaven so fine

That all the world will be in love with night

And pay no worship to garnish sun.


He also says, "My life were better ended by their hate, than death
prorogued, wanting of thy love." This means that Romeo says he would
rather die than not be loved by Juliet.

The type of love between Romeo and Juliet changes again, it is now
spiritual. Romeo and Juliet begin to use the same language as each
other and use the image of light to describe each other's looks. Then
Juliet proposes to Romeo to gain a spiritual bond in front of god: "O
gentle Romeo, If thou dost love, Pronounce it faithfully." The true
love of Romeo and Juliet shines out against all other types of love,
in the opening Chorus, they are described a "star crossed loves" and
on one level this suggests their love is fated. On another level, the
choice of stars is appropriate to capture the luminous quality of
their love.

This brings us onto the next type of love, marriage. As previously
stated Romeo and Juliet get married for their love of each other, but
Lord and Lady Capulet get married for different reasons. Lord Capulet
starts off having a very liberal attitude towards Juliet's marriage
and concentrates on her being happy. Later on in the play he insists
on her marriage to Count Paris as a way of asserting himself as the
leader of the Capulet household. Lady Capulet says that women need a
husband and says that a woman is the cover of a mans book; she makes
him hole. Then Lady Capulet changes as well she says that women have
to get married for monetary gains and to get a sense of security.

Paris on the other hand has courtly love for Juliet, he does not
really know her but believes that it would do good for him, the
Capulet's and Verona, he is also infatuated with her but grows to
romantically love her, this is evident at the end of the play when he
asks to be buried with Juliet after his fight with Romeo: "Open the
tomb, lay me with Juliet."

Earlier in the play parental love is shown by both sets of parents,
Romeo's parents send Benvolio to cheer up Romeo after he has been
rejected by Rosaline: "Could we but learn from whence his sorrows
grow. We would as willingly give cure as know."

Lord Capulet also shows love for Juliet when he tells Paris that she
is not old enough to get married yet: "Ere we my think her ripe to be
a bride.

These are all the different types of love that are shown in Romeo and
Juliet, they are each very important in the downfall of Romeo and
Juliet.

The true love of Romeo and Juliet shines out against all other types
of love, in the opening Chorus, they are described a "star crossed
loves" and on one level this suggests their love is fated. On another
level, the choice of stars is appropriate to capture the luminous
quality of their love.
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