Romeo and Juliet: Love or Lust?

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Romeo And Juliet; Love Or Lust?

Reputed to be the best love story ever written by an extensive number of resources, there is no doubt that Romeo and Juliet demonstrate a concise image of unconditional love. However, the real question is what was Shakespeare’s opinion on what true love looks like? And since Romeo and Juliet only knew each other for less than a week, should the reader automatically assume that they were truly in love, or should there be further suspicion on whether or not the love displayed was actually love, or simply lust? To answer this question various characters and points displayed in Romeo and Juliet must be explored, such as the different views of love that are presented by each character, the image of love that is revealed by Romeo and Juliet themselves, and Shakespeare’s way of exhibiting an outline of authentic passion.

There is definitely a strong opinion of love expressed by characters such as Mercutio and the nurse. Both indicate that their understanding of love is primarily sexual and extremely bawdy. This can be presented in numerous examples, one where Mecurtio is speaking to Romeo “By her fine foot, straight leg, and quivering thigh, And the demesnes that there adjacent lie” Although there is no reason stated as to why Mercutio feels this particular way about love, one can assume that perhaps he’s been through a bad experience with a woman, or possibly has never felt genuinely in love. The nurse also has many sexual implications, such as “Thou wilt fall backward when thou comest of age.” There is no reason stated as to why the nurse feels this way about love. Another outlook on love is that of Juliet’s mother, who states that Paris is young and indicates that he is also very handsome when trying to convince Juliet to agree to marry him. Her view of love is purely physical, to do with money and appearance rather than personality. And yet a further idea of love is the one presented in the beginning of the play, the “love” that...
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