Types Of Love Presented In Romeo And Juliet By Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet is a play written by Shakespeare in the 1500’s. It tells us the tragedy of two young lovers named Romeo and Juliet who fall in love at first sight but can never be together due to their two families conflict which ends up in both of the young lovers committing suicide. Juliet was also not allowed to marry due to the fact that a marriage had already been arranged by her father as this was set in the 1500’s and this was common practice. This essay will argue about how love is presented through the two main protagonists Romeo and Juliet and the types of love that is presented through the characters are unrequited love, secretive love and romantic love.
Firstly unrequited love is presented through Romeo and Rosaline, the first person he falls in love with but she wants to become a nun the quote ‘she’ll not be hit by cupid’s arrow. She hath Dian’s wit in a strong proof of chastity well-armed. From love’s weak childish bow she lives unharmed.’ the phrase ‘she’ll not be hit by cupid’s arrow’ and to further break that down the adverb ‘not’ implies Romeo is using cupid as a medium of him confessing his love for her and the adverb ‘not’ suggests she does not have feelings for him back making this form of love unrequited to further that ‘weak childish bow’ implies Romeo thinks that Rosaline is too strong or too good for his love which presents Romeo as quite mopey and sad because his love for Rosaline was unrequited. Unrequited love is also presented through Juliet and Paris who is the person that Juliet was arranged to marry the phrase ‘He shall not make me there a joyful bride.’ this quote infers that Juliet doesn’t love Paris at all unlike Paris who loves Juliet and tells her to confess her love to him ‘Do not deny to him that you love me.’ this phrase was Paris trying to get Juliet to confess her love for him but Juliet refuses by referring to Romeo and making Paris think she’s talking about him even though Juliet doesn’t love him back. Unrequited love is presented through the characters Romeo and Juliet and it’s also partly what leads Romeo to meeting Juliet due to the fact that since Romeo was moping around due to the fact his love was rejected his friend forced him to go to the party which ends up in Romeo and Juliet meeting.
Secondly love is presented as romantic and mostly through Romeo during the majority of the play the quote ‘I have night’s cloak to hide me from their eyes and but thou let them love me, let them find me here, my life were better ended by their hate than prorogued wanting of thy love’ and to further break that down ‘ended by their hate than prorogued by their love’ the verb ‘better ended’ heavily suggests Romeo is so romantically in love with Juliet he would rather die than not be with her this is romantic because Romeo’s exclaiming his love for Juliet out loud and in an expressive form which is essentially the definition of romantic. Furthermore Romeo also gives another example of romantic love when Juliet asks him how he got over the fence he says ‘with love’s light wings did i o’erperch these walls for stony limits cannot hold love out’ the metaphor ‘with love’s light wings’ implies Romeo’s love for Juliet is so strong that it can turn him into a different being that stops at nothing to be with Juliet and also ‘these stony limits cannot hold love out’ also implies that again Romeo will stop at nothing to confess his love and be with Juliet. Thirdly romantic love is presented as a romantic cliché as every time he’s with a female character he’s not related to he feels the need to confess his love to them and or make some kind of romantic gesture in that characters presence.
Thirdly, love is presented as secretive in Romeo and Juliet through Romeo and Juliet because due to their feuding families they have to keep their relationship a secret, a phrase to support this is ‘and the place death considering who thou art if any of my kinsmen find thou here’ this was when Romeo was by Juliet’s balcony and this quote implies that due to Romeo being a Montague he would be killed by Juliet’s relatives if he got caught seeing Juliet and this is the reason Romeo and Juliet keep their relationship a secret and how love is presented as secretive is because the repercussions the two would face if they were to be found out and for example Juliet’s father Capulet threatens to disown her because she refuses to obey him by saying she doesn’t want to marry Paris and so if she is found out to be married to Romeo chances are Capulet would do something a lot worse. Furthermore ‘and I am proof against their enmity’ teaches us another reason that Romeo and Juliet decide to keep their relationship a secret is hate, this is a recurring theme in the book where both families fight over unknown reasons and the reason that Romeo and Juliet decide to keep their relationship a secret is that due to their families conflicts they don’t know how their families will react due to their differences so the fear of that is why Shakespeare uses secretive love to present Romeo and Juliet’s relationship and this gives the reader a feeling of sympathy because the reader wants Romeo and Juliet to be happy and express their love openly.
Ultimately, Shakespeare presents love as a volatile and somewhat dangerous thing that leads can lead to violence and conflict and it eventually leads to the demise of the two young lovers, and in a sense Shakespeare gives us the message that the head over heels mentality isn’t a very good idea and is somewhat foolish but also leaves us with the message that you should be free to love whoever you want to even if it’s forbidden.
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