How Is the Theme of Love and Hate Presented in Romeo and Juliet?

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Love, Romeo Montague Pages: 3 (926 words) Published: March 7, 2013
The play Romeo and Juliet has two themes that rely on each other to create an understanding of the dynamics of relationships - the power of love and hate.  One could easily conceive that hatred is the stronger theme when looking at the tragic denouement that befalls the star - crossed lovers. The ongoing feud between the Capulets and Montagues, functioning as a mean of hatred results in the deaths of the youths. However, a more profound exploration widens our horizons. Romeo and Juliet has become forever associated with love. The play has become an iconic story of love and passion, and the name “Romeo” is still used to describe young lovers. Shakespeare’s treatment of love in the play is complex and multifaceted. He uses love in its many guises to thread together the key relationships in the play. At the beginning of the play, the prologue insinuates that the unfortunate deaths of the protagonists of the story put an end to their parents’ feud. The very phrase “star-crossed lovers” refers to a pair of lovers whose relationship is thwarted by outside forces. The term encompasses other meanings, but originally means the pairing is being "thwarted by a malign star" or that the stars are working against the relationship. By heralding the despondent ending, the play stirs sympathy inside the audience. Shakespeare shows the contrast between love and hate by combining “honor” and “sin” in one line – “Now, by the stock and honor of my kin, To strike him dead I hold it not a sin.” Tybalt is presented as an aggressive villain, who is concerned with honor and does not consider murder as a crime, arousing hatred amongst the audience along with passing the significance of honor at that particular period of time. The rhyme “kin” and “sin” emphasizes the theme of hatred, which runs through the entire play. The word “kin” originally means relative, in other words, somebody close, someone we can trust. In the next line, this word rhymes with “sin” foreshadowing the tragedy in...
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