Romeo and Juliet was written by William Shakespeare as a play for the theatre. William Shakespeare took his idea from an Italian folk story and is heavily influenced by sonnets which where developed by Francesco Petrarch an Italian poet. Shakespeare took most of his inspiration for Petrarch for demonstrating love with in the poem.
William Shakespeare wrote most his plays with three main themes. These themes are gang warfare, Young love and a moral in the tale. William Shakespeare is now widely regarded as the greatest playwright of the English history. Although Shakespeare has been dead for about 400 years, his play and sonnets are still very well known today for their universal themes. This was one of the only forms of entertainment in Elizabethan times.
Romeo and Juliet is one of the world’s most infamous love stories. Romeo and Juliet has been adapted into many different ways. Some of these ways include a modern day film, a ballet and many more ways. Romeo and Juliet has also been adapted into an award winning musical ‘West Side Story’. Which demonstrates how adaptable and successful the storyline and characters continue to be.
In Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses a sonnet for the prologue this is in order to point out the play’s theme, of love. Sonnets were often used to address the subject of love in conflict. In the opening scenes of Romeo and Juliet, Romeo is presented as a typical Petrarchan lover; feeling turmoil over Rosaline, then celebrating his marriage to Juliet and having to suffer with the consequences. Shakespeare allowed the audience to witness to all kinds of love: sexual, unrequited, sensually, compassionate as well as loveless marriges. I will look at all aspects of love that are present in Romeo and Juliet. I will do this by looking at all the love presented to the audience through the characters, storyline and word used to discuss their ideas, feelings and expectations of love.
The first aspect of love I have looked at is sexual love.
Sexual love is love that only looks at the physical side of love. The way this language is used is in a very violent manner and often make reference to fighting. Sexual love is normally used by lower class people in Romeo and Juliet this often shows the lack of understanding in love. In Romeo and Juliet this type of language is used by Sampson, Gregory, Mercutio, Peter and the nurse. The first example of this is in the act 1 scene 1 where Sampson and Gregory are talking about love but only about sex. The main quote used by Shakespeare in this conversation between Sampson and Gregory is “‘Tis true, and therefore women, being the weaker vessels, are ever thrust to the wall: therefore I will push Montague’s men from the wall, and thrust his maid to the wall.” This is an unusual way to introduce a play however it works as a contrast. This also is linking again to the sonnet. Another quote I have taking from act 1 scene 3 is said by the nurse as she talks about Juliet in a sexual way. This quote is “dost thou fall upon thy face? Thouwilt fall backward when thou hast more wit, wilt thou not, Jule? And by my holidame, the pretty wretch left crying and said ‘Ay’.” This is the about the nurse recalling a moment when her husband said this to Juliet when she was younger. This is about a time when Juliet fell over and landed on her face. The nurse husband says that when shes older she’ll learn to fall on her back for men. This reminds the audience of the nurse lower social status against the Capulet household. Mercutio has a fun cheeky personality whose sexual references link into his lack of experience of love. He refers to sexual language in act 2 scene1 and 4. He says in act 2 scene 1 “He is wise, And on my life hath stol’n him home to bed.” This conversation is happening between Benvolio and Mercutio about Romeo. He says that he thinks Romeo has sneaked off to bed. They talk about this as if Romeo has gone to have sex with some one. The second quote said by...
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