Explore how Shakespeare and Orwell present forbidden love in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and ‘1984’. Introduction
What is love? What are the main similarities and differences between the presentation of forbidden love in 1984 and Romeo and Juliet? Relate briefly to the contexts of both texts. Paragraph 1
Why does Romeo love Juliet? Why does Winston love Julia?
Look at how Romeo is attracted to Juliet for being beautiful and compare it to how Winston loves Julia for her lack of purity. Explore this idea. You could use the quotes:
‘The brightness of cheek would shame those stars’ – Romeo about Juliet, page 53, Romeo and Juliet “Listen. The more men you’ve had, the more I love you. Do you understand?” “Yes, perfectly.”
“I hate purity, I hate goodness! I don’t want any virtue to exist anywhere. I want everyone to be corrupt to the bones.” – Winston and Julia, page 144, 1984 (part 2, chapter 2 end) Paragraph 2
What is the connection between hate and love? What similarities do you notice between the two texts? Look hatred has become an important element of each relationship. You could use the quotes:
‘My name, dear saint, is hateful to myself’ –Romeo, page 55, Romeo and Juliet “As soon as I saw you, I knew you were against them.” Julia says this about Winston, page 140, 1984. Paragraph 3
How is sex presented in both texts? Is sex a natural or unnatural act? Look at how sex is shown to be unnatural in 1984 – birds singing, etc. Effect is that the reader sympathises with Winston and Julia. Birds singing at the start of Act 3, scene 5 – both extracts have feeling of tranquillity and peace. It was the lark, the bird that sings at dawn, not the nightingale.
What is the connection between love and rebellion? Are the characters simply rebelling or are they really in love? Rebellion between Big Brother and Juliet’s family can be compared. Juliet’s rebellion against her father in Act 3 Scene 5 is very serious given that she is a 14 year old girl in Elizabethan...
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