How Love Is Presented in Romeo and Juliet

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In the play “Romeo and Juliet” William Shakespeare uses the theme of love as a main feature to push the story along. Presented many different effects of love and by portraying different actions love causes on each of the characters, he’s portrayal of this theme also changes as the play progresses in order to show the different aspects of love.

Shakespeare's first portrayal of the theme of love is in the first act of “Romeo and Juliet” when Romeo is talking of his unrequited love for Rosaline with Benvolio. Here Romeo is very confused as he uses oxymorons such as 'o brawling love, o loving hate,'which shows how he is confused by his relationship with Rosaline as she does not return his love. Romeo continues to elucidate what love is and convey his pain, love-sick as he says 'being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers tears.' This shows how Romeo feels that he is being tormented by his love and he also, in this line speaks of all the lovers who have shed tears over their love and says how this is keeping the sea levels high by saying that the tears nourish the sea. On the following line Romeo says 'A madness most discrete.'This line shows love in another light - as madness. Romeo feels that he is being driven mad by his love for Rosaline.

In reply to Romeo’s repetitions of descriptions of smoke Benvolio says `when one fire burns out another’s burning`, meaning that he wishes for Romeo to find another woman to love as there are many other possibilities of love available, one that is tangible or at least one that will distract him from the woman he suffers from. He suggests `some new infection` to discard `the rank poison of the old`. Hoping that Romeo will find a love more fair that will end the characteristics Romeo is displaying of courtly love. Romeo knows he is `out of her favour where [he is] in love` yet due to the fact that he is displaying courtly love it does not matter that Rosaline is unattainable he still ponders over her without listening to...
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