Romeo and Juliet

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'Romeo and Juliet' is a play set in Verona - the city of love. Love is a prominent theme that runs throughout the play and Shakespeare manages to portray every form of love. The courtly love tradition embodied in Romeo's infatuation with Rosaline, is ridiculed by Shakespeare. There is also the passionate, youthful love of Romeo and Juliet that contrasts greatly with the harsh reality of an arranged marriage. Shakespeare's main aim was to illustrate the tragedy of love but also the Elizabethan attitude towards love at the time. The love shared between Romeo and Juliet was doomed to fail from the beginning. In the prologue Shakespeare writes " From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life,". Immediately, the audience is told that the lovers are from "fatal loins". Shakespeare uses the word "fatal" to show that the love between Romeo and Juliet will eventually come to a disastrous end. Their love is "death-marked" therefore there is little that Romeo and Juliet can do to save themselves. Shakespeare makes it clear that all odds are against them and that there is no place for hope. In Act 1 scene 3, Lady Capulet declares that Juliet is "not yet fourteen". Juliet is very young of age and has only just started puberty. Shakespeare tries to tell the audience that Juliet's abundant naivety will mean that her heart has the power to override her head. Both Romeo and Juliet are impulsive, as is shown by their rash decision to get married after just one meeting. At the beginning of the play we hear about Romeo's idealised love for Rosaline - a woman he hasn't met. "Many a morning...dew." Romeo is so consumed in his feelings of love that he weeps each day. Shakespeare puts the emphasis on Romeo's sighs and distress, referring to them as "deep". He tries to construct the image of a typical courtly lover suffering from the cruel, authenticity of love. Romeo "shuts up his windows..artificial night". Romeo tries to create a...
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