The Language of Love in Shakespeare "Romeo and Juliet"

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The Language of Love in
Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet'


1. Introduction

2. Development and adoption of the love between the protagonists 2.1. Love at first sight
2.2. Further themes of the play
2.2.1. violence, fight and hate
2.2.2. Sex and humor
3. The 'setting' as an element of the play
3.1. Setting: the location
3.2. Setting: the weather
4. Language elements: contrasts and metaphors
5. The action of the play
6. The Character of Romeo - his relation to love
7. The Character of Juliet - her development towards an adulthood love

8. Conclusion

9. Bibliography

1. Introduction
'Romeo and Juliet' is thought to have been written in 1595 or 1596. The story of the two famous lovers was adapted by Shakespeare but it is his version that is known to old and young the world over. It is a tragic story of forbidden love; the whole episode of Romeo and Juliet's meeting, falling in love, marriage, and tragic end, takes place within five days. This work will analyze the love between the two protagonists Romeo and Juliet and will give an insight into the development of the love between the two world-famous lovers. Furthermore, main topics and themes will be described and the language of the play should be explored (special features such as metaphors, names and contrasts).

2. Development and adoption of the love between the protagonists 2.1. Love at first sight
Love at first sight is a widely debated notion. Some say that true love based on physical appearance without a deeper understanding of a person does not exist. Others argue that one may be able to recognize true love immediately. Shakespeare devotes part of the play to this question. He makes reference to Romeo and Juliet as ‘star-crossed lovers'. In other words, the two lovers are thwarted by destiny from the very beginning. Although not meant to be together, they may still truly love each other. Romeo first sees Juliet during her parents' banquet. His reaction in Act I shows that Juliet's appearance greatly affects him: "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!

It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night
As a rich jewel in an Ethiop's ear-
Beauty too rich for use, for earth too dear!
He says to him, ‘Did my heart love till now?' Romeo quickly decides that he is in love with Juliet even though he has not yet spoken to her. Juliet is more level-headed. She refuses his advances at first, but later allows him to kiss her. At this point, the feelings of both characters appear at a superficial level. However, fate tests their devotion by unmasking their identities. Juliet is found to be a Capulet, and Romeo a Montague; a discovery upsetting them simultaneously. However, they do not question their love. This leads the audience to believe their love is real. By presenting opposing views of their love, Shakespeare leaves room for one to question their love without completely invalidating it.

2.2. Further themes of the play
2.2.1. violence, fight and hate
In addition to love at first sight, the feud between the Montagues and Capulets is also a main theme of the play. The world that Shakespeare has chosen to portray is violent and hate-filled from the very beginning. The prologue shows the audience exactly how the feud will play a major role throughout the production. The Chorus states: "The fearful passage of their death-marked love,

And the continuance of their parents' rage
Which, but their children's end, naught could remove,
Is now the two hours' traffic of our stage…"
This shows that everything in the play relates to the progress of Romeo and Juliet's love, and the ongoing family feud. One is always aware of the tension between the two sides because of this strife. The violence is minor at first, but intensifies throughout the play. In the first scene, Benvolio of the Montague household fights Tybalt of the Capulet household. However, this is a mere scuffle...
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