How does Shakespeare present strong feelings about love in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ In Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice
There are many examples of strong love. The two most prominent examples of strong love are romantic love and unrequited love. In Romeo and Juliet, there appears to be more examples of unrequited love than that of romantic love, despite the main theme of the play being the romantic love between Romeo and Juliet. The unrequited love between Romeo and Rosaline is significant, as it opens the debate of whether or not Romeo’s love for Juliet is sincere. At the beginning of the play, Romeo claims to be in love with Rosaline, saying to Benvolio “In sadness cousin, I do love a woman,” in Act 1 scene 1. The love he feels for her is a sad and longing love, for she does not feel the same. The likeliness of Romeo’s love being just infatuation is high, as he loses his love for Rosaline quickly after merely laying eyes upon Juliet at the Capulet’s ball, “O she doth teach the torches to burn bright!” In this quote and the continuation of the speech, he explains how she is a “rich jewel”, burns brighter than the torches and beauty is not a strong enough word to describe her looks. As he finds his new love in Juliet so quickly, you could argue that it is only infatuation as he sees her at the party for only her looks, as he did with Rosaline earlier on. Another notable example of unrequited love is Paris and Juliet. In act 1 scene 3, Lady Capulet and Nurse are talking to Juliet about Paris’ love for her. They are trying to convince her to want to marry him as she does not have a choice over whether she actually does or not. They continuously say what a great man he is “He’s a man of wax” (possibly meaning that Paris is so perfect, he could be made of wax) and “Read o’er the volume of young Paris’ face, and find delight writ there with beauty’s pen.” They imply that Paris does in fact love her from the line “Speak briefly, can...
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