To express his view of good and evil in every man, William Shakespeare
writes lines that Friar Laurence reveals in the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet
which compare man to plants, focusing on the common trait they hold of having
two contrasting components in their being. Throughout history, there has always
been a conflict with the view of goodness and evilness in man. The philosopher
Plato believed that man was born with a natural depravity and was basically an
untrained animal who needed society's help to structure, educate, and fulfill
his needs. On the other hand, Plato's pupil Aristotle believed that man is
initially born with goodness and virtue. The issue of man's two sides can be
thoroughly discussed over the gothic novel of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley.
Some critics believe that the "creature" was prone to evil from the onset, that
it was innately in his being, while others argue that the treatment the "
creature" received from humans pitted him against mankind into an evil and
revengeful state. Shakespeare, however, in his extended metaphor comparing man
to plants, holds the opinion that there is both decency and infamy in man. His
opinion can be compared to the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis
Stevenson, where Dr. Jekyll is innately pure and kind but because he tries to
hide the malicious side of his being, it eventually overcomes him completely.
Shakespeare wishes to address the idea that evil can destroy a person and
overtake them if it is let in and uses his lines of Friar Laurence as an
aphorism and a warning to mankind.
The following lines from Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet fully portray
the author's view of a split of innocence and corruption in man, and the thought
that evil is likely and able to destroy man from the inside out.
Within the infant rind of this small flower
Poison hath residence and medicine power.
In man as well as herbs, grace and... [continues]
Cite This Essay
(1999, 10). Romeo and Juliet: Shakespeare's Metaphor of Comparing Man to Plants. StudyMode.com. Retrieved 10, 1999, from http://www.studymode.com/essays/Romeo-And-Juliet-Shakespeare%27s-Metaphor-Of-3937.html
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