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There are various types of love shown in the play Romeo and Juliet.
Many characters in the play portray theses. The most obvious one would
be the romantic love of Romeo and Juliet. But it is important not to
forget about the other types of love as well. These are parental,
courtly bawdy and mercenary love.
Shakespeare centers the play on the romantic love of Romeo and Juliet.
I think he has the most to tell us about this type of love out of all
the various types. Probably because this is the most powerful and
effective of them all and also the most interesting and heart breaking
at the same time.
Romantic love is powerful. It is so powerful it changed a character
completely. A very good example will be Juliet. She was an obedient,
shy, quiet and typical daughter of that time till she fell in love
with Romeo. When her parents tell her to meet Paris she said
obediently, “but no more deep will i…than your consent gives…” but
after she fell in love and secretly marries Romeo, she did not only
become a disobedient rebel but also speaks against her father and was
not afraid of anything. When her father tells her to marry Paris she
said, “ I will not marry yet…” and when she is drinking the
portion,she did it “without fear or doubt.” This very sudden extreme
and unbelievable change within her was caused mainly because of this
infatuation she had for Romeo.
This is shown through Romeo as well. It was the romantic love that
blinded him to marry Juliet when he knew that was not the wisest
thing. He said “my life is my foes debt!” when he fell in love with
Juliet. Later in the play he did not hesitate a moment killing himself
when he saw dead Juliet. He drank the poison with these powerful
words, “Juliet I will lie with thee tonight.”
To a certain point this powerfulness of their romantic love caused so
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things. So the lovers should be aware of this fact to avoid facing the
hard times Romeo and Juliet had to face.
Romantic love is honest. Lies deceits and betrayal can not go along
with it. Two lovers have to be totally honest with each other in order
to make it work.
This is clearly shown by Romeo and Juliet again. They were honest in
sharing their feelings about each other and every moment they were
together they were faithful to each other. Juliet faked a death to
avoid marrying Paris and being unfaithful to Romeo. They did not tell
a single lie to each other. Romeo confesses that “my only love sprung
from my only hate” and Juliet says “I speak from my heart and from my
soul” to Romeo.
This is also shown through Paris. He also claimed he loves Juliet and
wants to marry her. But Juliet could not find honesty within him
therefore was not attracted to him at all. This is obvious when she
said “ o bid me leap…than marry Paris…” he was conventional and
arrogant which is far from being honest. He said to Juliet “I am sure
you love me” at the church, which she later tells Friar, she dost not
Paris represented a typical man of that time who only thought of
marriage as a business deal just like the Capulet. Shakespeare is
criticizing such concept and love by using Paris and the Capulet as
they did not succeed marrying Juliet with a mercenary love.
This in fact, caused her to pretend suicide. Love can not be bought or
sold with money nor it can be evaluated with money. Such happenings
There is a type of love easily forgotten and ignored. That is parental
love. Obviously Romeo and Juliet were ignorant of this in the play.
Despite the fact the Capulet wanted Juliet to marry Paris for his
reasons he still did it because he thought it was best for her. He
muttered these words to Juliet when she refused to marry Paris.“still
my care has been to have her matched.” But Juliet could not see that
but only saw the other side of her father.
Also another good example is when the parents hear the news of their
children’s death and how they react. Lady Montague got a heart attack
and others showed their sorrow and grief. Montague laments in the tomb
“O thou untaught what manner is this!”
This applies today as well. Many teenagers do not realize this type of
love which is very unfortunate. I think parents should express their
love more obviously so the children will see it and feel it. And
children must pay more attention to their parents and try to
understand them and express love as well.
Shakespeare clearly has a message about romantic love that it is
powerful and honest but also dangerous if uncontrolled. I think what
he really tries to say is that we should me moderate in understanding
love. We can not be one sided and say romantic love is the only true
love as we saw that it has both good and bad effects. So we should be
moderate and learn from the good effects of each type of love from the
play and apply that to our lives. After all, love in any form is a
great, desirable and beautiful thing.