How Does Shakespeare Portray Love in Romeo and Juliet? Assignment

How Does Shakespeare Portray Love in Romeo and Juliet? Assignment Words: 1712

In ‘Romeo and Juliet’, Shakespeare portrays different aspects and types of love in many ways. The obvious love is the fateful love between Romeo and Juliet although the play also displays platonic love, maternal love and aspects of adolescent love. The first kind of love shown in the play is teenage love through Romeo. Montague tells us that “Many a morning hath he (Romeo) been seen… Adding to the clouds more clouds with his deep sighs. ” Romeo is often seen sighing showing that he is either depressed or In love. Romeo Is both.

He says he Is “out of her favor where I m in love”. He Is “In love” with Rosalie but she has sworn herself too Life of chastity and does not return Romeos love. Shakespeare mocks Romeos infatuation with the language he uses to show Romeos love. To Romeo love is a “choking gall”, a poison. Love is the end of Romeos life, this Is not the language of love, this Is the language of Infatuation and Shakespeare exaggerates Romeos infatuation with his constant talk of sadness, devotion and depression. This is mocked further when Romeo first sets eyes upon Juliet. Did my heart love till now? ” he asks himself. This shows the fickleness of and speed at which teenage love can change direction. Just a minute before noticing Juliet, Romeo was infatuated by Rosalie then a moment later he is suddenly in love with Juliet. Throughout the play Shakespeare high-lights the hastiness and impetuous nature of Romeo and Gullet’s teenage love. Friar Laurence advises Romeo that “they stumble that run fast,” meaning that their relationship is likely to “stumble” or become difficult if they are too hasty with their actions.

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This, of course, doesn’t prevent the young lovers from marrying soon after their first meeting. Although in some ways Shakespeare mocks the love between Romeo and Juliet he does make it seem to be true love. When the couple first meet Romeo refers to Gullet’s hand as a “shrine” thus creating a religious imagery which is continued by both Romeo and Juliet throughout their conversation. Romeos lips are “blushing pilgrims” coming to worship at the “shrine” that is Juliet. They each use the word “saint” to describe one another.

This use of religious language suggests that their love is pure like religion and God, and that their relationship is their destiny and has already en dictated by God. The use of “saint” also suggests that they consider each other to be godly and almost worship each other. Furthermore, the way in which Shakespeare displays this meeting is significant. The dialogue between Romeo and Juliet Is written In the form of a sonnet, a poetic form typically used for love poetry. Romeo speaks the first quatrain, followed by Juliet saying the second.

They share the third quatrain and the final rhyming couplet, 1 OFF “Saints do not move, though grant tort prayers’ sake. Then move not, while my prayers’ effect I take”, before they kiss. The use of the sonnet is to show the love between the couple and the way they start off speaking the separate quatrains and by the end are sharing lines represents their hearts and souls intertwining themselves until the end where Romeo and Juliet kiss and become one. Each partner shows absolute devotion to the other. Both are prepared to die for one another and would rather die than live without them.

When Juliet learns she has been betrothed to Paris she seeks the advice of Father Laurence, she says “If, in thy wisdom, thou cants give no help… With this knife I’ll help it presently”. She says that if Father Laurence has no advice to help she will kill herself immediately rather than betray Romeo and God. She would be betraying God by marrying Paris as she and Romeo are already married and bigamy is a sin. Shakespeare uses this to portray his ideas about true love should be in a proper relationship. True love should involve God as well as the couple.

A form of love also mocked by Shakespeare is the literary tradition of courtly love. The love from stories in which a knight will go on quests to impress a princess who will seemingly remain uninterested. This isn’t allowed to develop in Romeo and Juliet. After their first meeting Juliet is on her balcony, talking to herself; she professes her love for Romeo. Romeo is eavesdropping below and hears this. The traditions of courtly love require the lady to show little sign of love and take little interest in the man.

Juliet ruins this by announcing her love without realizing it. “If thou thinks I am too easily won, I’ll frown and be perverse and say thee nay,” she tells Romeo, trying to resurrect some traditional values between them. She wants Romeo to be her noble knight who writes her poetry and slays dragons for her, she wants to play the game ropey but has already given “love’s faithful vow”. In this same meeting the couple agree to marry. I think Shakespeare made a point of leaving out their courting to display the hastiness of their teenage love.

Throughout the play a comparison is made between Paris and Romeo and the different aspects of love they offer Juliet. Paris is “a gentleman of noble parentage” and seems to be a sensible husband. He is rich and would be a gain to the Capsule family. The marriage to Paris is a logical arrangement, Capsule says Juliet should “count her blessed” as he has “wrought so worthy a gentleman to be her bride”. She should be proud and grateful that her father has persuaded such a worthy and noble man to marry into their family.

Paris is the courtly lover that Romeo wasn’t given the chance to be; he brings flowers and kisses Gullet’s hand while trying to be the perfect gentleman and impress Juliet with his courtesy and manners. Romeo on the other hand is the passionate lover who would rather die than live without his love. Romeos love is true love and is made to seem stronger than the logical love of Paris. Through this Paris is made to seem an enemy in the play although in actuality he is acting as any decent man at the time would and should.

He seems an enemy because his love is overshadowed by Romeos overpowering passionate love. Another comparison which can be made between Paris and Romeo is through the language they use. At the end of the play as Juliet lies in her tomb and Paris comes to visit her he calls her “sweet flower”, typical poetic language of courtly love. Romeo, on the other hand, talks to the ‘dead’ Juliet, “Why art thou yet so fair? “, he still can’t get over her beauty. Romeos language is much more passionate, talking to the dead Juliet rather than about her and still seeing her as the most beautiful person.

When compared to Paris who simply compares her to something thought universally beautiful, a flower, and talks about her rather than to her, you can see that Shakespeare was trying to make us see the different aspects of love offered by Romeo and Paris. At the time of the play the traditional expectation of a young girl like Juliet was to obey her father and marry his choice of men, and in an important family such as Gullet’s the marriage was more likely to be for family gain rather than the love twine the bride and groom.

Juliet is forced to defy her father and break this ideal to stay faithful to Romeo and God. Capsule cannot understand why Juliet refuses to marry Paris, he is certainly a worthy husband, “stuffs, as they say, with honorable parts” and he finds that Gullet’s defiance infuriates him, at one point he says “My fingers itch! “, he feels the need to strike his daughter for her disobedience. To him marriage is a tool for gaining status and wealth rather than a declaration of love as it is to Juliet. As well as the love between Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare displays platonic love twine Romeo and Mercuric.

In Act 3, Scene 1 when Table challenges Romeo to a duel and Mercuric is slain, Romeo is overcome with anger and love for his dead companion that he attacks Table, who he had before refused to fight as they had recently become relatives due to Romeo marrying Juliet. Romeo originally refuses to fight Table, saying “(l) love thee better than thou cants devise”. Because they are now related to one another Romeo feels he cannot fight Table. However once Table has murdered Mercuric Romeo tells him “Either thou, or l, or both, must go with him,” and they fight.

This act of violence comes from Romeos heart, from his “fire-eyed fury”, Romeo is so overcome with his love for Mercuric that his heart anger leads him to kill Table. This violence is used to show that Romeo does not Just love Juliet but loves his friends also. The fact that he murdered Table after he previously refused to fight insinuates that his love for Mercuric was different than his love for Juliet. His love for Juliet prevented him to strike but his love for Mercuric forced him to. An example of maternal love is shown when Romeo is exiled.

We learn that Romeos other dies from the grief of seeing her son banished from their city. The love for her son was greater than her love for life and so she died over the exile of Romeo. Shakespeare uses this to show that there were others who loved Romeo besides Juliet. In conclusion, I believe that Shakespeare intended us to mock Romeos impetuous teenage love but admire his devotion to his friends and adoration of and devotion to Juliet. Throughout the play different forms of love develop and Shakespeare makes sure we realize that each and every kind of love is special and unique.

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