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How does Shakespeare Present the Theme of Love in Romeo and Juliet?

Shakespeare presents the theme of love in different ways for each of the characters and for some, such as Romeo, Shakespeare's portrayal of this theme changes as the play progresses.

Shakespeare's first portrayal of the theme of love is in the first act when Romeo is talking of his love for Rosaline with Benvolio. Here Romeo is very confused as he uses oxymorons such as 'o brawling love, o loving hate,' (line 107) which shows how he is confused by his relationship with Rosaline as she does not return his love. Romeo continues to speak about the pain of love as he says 'being vexed, a sea nourished with lovers tears.' (Line 186) This shows how Romeo feels that he is being tormented by his love and he also, in this line speaks of all the lovers who have shed tears over their love and says how this is keeping the sea levels high by saying that the tears nourish the sea. On the following line Romeo says 'A madness most discrete.' (Line 187.) This line shows love in another light - as madness. Romeo feels that he is being driven mad by his love for Rosaline.

The portrayal of Romeo's love changes entirely when, at the Capulet party, Romeo meets Juliet. When Romeo sees Juliet for the first time he begins to speak of Juliet's beauty. He says 'She doth teach the torches to burn bright,' (Line 41 I v.) This shows how Romeo feels about Juliet and how he throws away his love for Rosaline. This shows how false Romeo's first love was and then this shows how true Romeo's new love for Juliet is.

Romeo continues, 'did my heart love till now?' which also shows how Romeo has forgotten about Rosaline and he now feels that he is experiencing true love. We see Romeo's view of the idea of love change entirely in this scene as he stops thinking of love in a bad way as he was tormented by Rosaline and begins to compare it to a religion, something which would have been very close to the hearts of Shakespeare's...
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