How Is Love Presented in Romeo and Juliet and Two Poems from the Shakespeare Literary Heritage

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How is Love presented in Romeo and Juliet and two poems from the Shakespeare Literary Heritage

Love is presented in a variety of different ways in Romeo and Juliet and my chosen poems from the Literary Heritage: Stop All the Clocks and Sonnet 130. For instance, in Romeo and Juliet Shakespeare is attempting to challenge the tradition of courtly love that was prominent in the Elizabethan era. He is suggesting that the tradition of courtly love is artificial and essentially false. Courtly love was a hidden love between the nobility in medieval times. In Sonnet 130 Shakespeare has a different goal; he is attempting to challenge the traditional Petrarchan sonnet that was popular at the time. These sonnets were grand declarations of love but also seemed rather overblown and unnecessarily dramatic. W.H. Auden’s poem Stop All the Clocks is dramatic and very emotional, however this is justified in this instance as his lover has died. This would undoubtedly be an exceedingly traumatic experience. In Act 1 Scene 1 of Romeo and Juliet love is presented as being like a poison that can infect a person. Shakespeare uses a metaphor in a very interesting manner in this scene to show this. For instance, when Montague is describing how his son Romeo is acting due to Romeo’s unreturned love for Rosaline he states, “As is the bud bit with an envious worm, Ere he can spread his sweet leaves to the air, Or dedicate his beauty to the same.” He is suggesting that Romeo is like a flower “bud” that won’t open itself up to the world because it’s been poisoned from within by parasites. Just like the flower has been poisoned by parasites, Romeo has been poisoned by love. Romeo only goes out at night and shuts himself away in a darkened room during the day. This metaphor helps the audience to see that love can be a dangerous force that causes people to act in unusual ways. Shakespeare uses this dramatic metaphor to show the intensity with which Romeo seems to love Rosaline,...
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