Romeo and Juliet

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“Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” This quote by Alexander Pope sums up Shakespeare’s view of love in Romeo and Juliet. In the play, two young teenagers meet, fall in love, and decide to get married – all in one night. Of course, this rash decision ends in disaster. Throughout the course of the play, Shakespeare warns us of this tragic outcome. After the wedding, Juliet gets banished by her family and fakes her own death to get out of an arranged marriage. Romeo, thinking she is really dead kills himself. Juliet awakening, sees Romeo dead and really does kill herself. In this way, Shakespeare demonstrates how love becomes complicated and disastrous when rushed. By doing so, he encourages the audience to take love at a reasonable and steady pace. Romeo displays how little control he has over his emotions towards Juliet when he rushes into marriage and says things about how he doesn’t care what happens so long as he can marry her. Romeo demonstrates recklessness and immaturity by rushing into love, not caring what follows. His passionate and emotional feelings towards Juliet cause him to be blind to the consequences that may occur by rushing the relationship. Shakespeare portrays this when Romeo says to the friar, “Do thou but close our hands with holy words, then love devouring death do what he dare it is enough I may but call her mine.” (II.vi.6-8) In this passage, Shakespeare personifies death by saying death can do whatever it wants to Romeo after they get married. This puts an image in our minds of someone (death) killing Romeo. In other words, as long as Romeo can marry Juliet, he doesn’t care if he dies. Romeo continues to show uncontrolled passion and emotion in everything he does throughout the play. We see an example of this when, fresh off a break-up, he says the following. “Is love a tender thing? It is too rough, too rude, to boist’rous, and it pricks like a thorn.” (I.iv.25-26) Shakespeare uses a simile to compare love to a rose. Like a...
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