William Shakespeares: Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeares: Romeo and Juliet

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William Shakespeares: Romeo and Juliet

Throughout the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare displays
various types of love. Benvolio believes women are interchangeable,
while, at the beginning Romeo believes love is pain because of his
relationship with Rosaline. At the beginning Juliet does not even have
a definition of love and both Paris's and Lady Capulet's definition of
love is in appearance and rank. They also believe along with master
Capulet that marriages are only arranged for rank and wealth, which is
criticised by friar Lawrence, he states:

“For ‘twas your heaven she should be advanced

And weep ye now, seeing she is advanced

Above the clouds, as high as heaven itself?

O, in this love, you love your child so ill.

Lady Capulet believes love comes from appearance, both physical and
political, and has nothing to do with emotion. She shows this when she
speaks favourably of Paris's looks and his nobility. Shakespeare
portrays the Capulet’s as being dull and unloving throughout the play.
Lady Capulet even shows that she does not love Capulet when she
publicly denounces him. In doing this it is obvious that Shakespeare
wants to portray the message that the only true love is the love that
exists between Romeo and Juliet.

The first type of love is the exchangeable love of Benvolio. According
to Benvolio, a man should love a woman for only the duration of their
relationship and if their relationship should end, the man should feel
no grief. Before Romeo met Juliet his definition of love is pain, an
opinion derived from his relationship with Rosaline. I believe Romeo
is both right and wrong: not returned love is pain, but Romeo does not
truly love and it could be said that he only loves with his eyes.
Friar Lawrence criticises this form of love and his relationship with
Rosaline saying:

“Young men’s love then lies not truly in hearts but in their eyes.”

Romeo however dismisses this assumption saying in return:

“Thou chidest me oft for loving Rosaline.

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Juliet appears not to know what love is, and, for that matter, does
not seem to care. She remains ignorant to the matter until she meets
Romeo. When Romeo first sets his eyes upon Juliet he immediately
associates her with light. “She doth teach the torches to burn
bright.” He then describes her as a brilliant jewel shining against a
dark stunned background, like a star on a dark night. In its own turn,
light suggests the illumination and brightness of love. The star
image, a constant motif throughout the play and which refers as much
to destiny as to love, universalises love by placing it in the context
of the holiness and vastness of the heavens. Clearly bewitched by what
he has seen Romeo refers to her beauty as, “too rich for use, for
earth to dear.” In other words, her beauty and by implication his love
is too refined for this earth and will not be long upon it which of
course proves to be true too quickly. Also it could be said that Romeo
is happier talking about love, he is very much for words as we see in
act II.6 line 24:

Ah Juliet, if the measure of thy joy

Be heaped like mine, and that they skill be more

To blazon it, then sweeten with thy breath

This neighbour air, and let rich music’s tongue

Unfold the imagined happiness that both

Receive in either by this dear encounter.

Romeo expresses his love conventionally either in cliché or with
typical classical references:

“Well, in that hit you miss. She’ll not be hit

With cupids arrow. She hath Dian’s wit,

And, in strong proof of chastity well armed”

“He that is strucken blind cannot forget

The precious treasure of his eyesight lost.”

The clichéd and conventional quality of Romeo’s speeches about
Rosaline along with his early speeches about Juliet show to a certain
extent an immaturity underlined by friar Lawrence’s comments. However
Romeo’s language matures with the intensity of his new experience and
of course the pressure of events.

The holiness of love, which I mentioned, is shown in the scene in
which Romeo and Juliet meet for the first time. Romeo says that he is
a pilgrim and Juliet is a shrine. Juliet and Romeo then join their
hands as if in prayer, “And palm to palm is holy palmers kiss” This
highly orchestrated duet is quietly intense and the imagery refers us
to the reference and holiness associated with their love.

In the balcony scene Juliet is described as a source of light; firstly
the sun that is a source of light itself. “But soft! What light
through yonder window breaks? It is the East and Juliet id the sun.”
At line 15 of act II scene 2 Romeo develops a longer image of Juliet
among the stars which develops the theme already begun and to which
Juliet will return as she waits longingly and impatiently for her
husband at the beginning of act III scene 2:

“And 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.”

Ironically, their love will end in “violence”, they will be consumed
by a kiss and their love will be confounded-by death. But this warning
is at the heart of the play and gives us a guide to the true qualities
of their love. It is above all, swift and spontaneous: Juliet accepts
the pilgrims kiss instantly; by the end of the scene (1.5) she states,
“if he be married, my grave is like to be my wedding bed,” followed
immediately by,” My only love sprung from my only hate” And this from
a girl who had just said before the dance that marriage was “an honour
that I think not of.”

Throughout the duration of Romeo and Juliet numerous types of love

Are shown none of them are wrong, as the word love can be interpreted
in

Many different ways however it is obvious that Shakespeare did not
have this

In mind when he wrote the play. Shakespeare intention when writing
this play

Was to shows us that the only type of love worth having is true love
and that

the only true love exists between Romeo and Juliet.
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