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Forces in Romeo and Juliet

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Romeo and Juliet is a story of tragedy, written by William Shakespeare during the 16th century. Through his use of imagery and soliloquies, he is able to convey the key ideas from his play to the audience in an engaging composition. His play is based around important forces that mould the events whilst unravelling the storyline in a tense and complex manner. The forces I discuss are fate, hate and love.

Fate is a powerful force in the play of Romeo and Juliet where the events of the two characters were heavily influenced. In William Shakespeare’s tragedy, both Romeo and Juliet are subject to fate even before the play had started. Shakespeare had established immediately within the prologue that the plot of Romeo and Juliet would heavily rely on elements of fate. From the line, “From forth the fatal loins of these two foes, a pair of star-crossed lovers take their life.” audience members learn of the predetermined end of the two protagonists, giving them expectation. In this line, Shakespeare refers to the two lovers as star-crossed, connecting them with the constellations, which in history had the theme of controlling destiny and moulding fate. Farther along the prologue, Shakespeare interpolates the idea of predestination when he refers to the love between Romeo and Juliet as “death-mark’d” referring to the concept that no matter what actions the two take during the course of the play, their destinies remain doomed.

Hate plays a pivotal role in the play, being the roots of violence and influencing the actions that caused the ultimate calamity of the two lovers. Romeo and Juliet are two lovers from contrary houses of hatred and through the Capulet and Montague antagonism; the demise of their latest generation is provoked. Hate is an uncontrollable passion which can lead to devastating consequences, conceivably death. Through the mutual hate of the two families, the love that sprung between Romeo and Juliet was doomed to fail “My only love sprung from my only hate.” This line was quoted by Juliet after she realizes that her only love was born from the Montague family. From the long rivalry between the houses, the unlikely event of the spawns from the two foes fell in love. Juliet also proceeds to state “Tis but my name that is my enemy”, saying that what is keeping herself and Romeo apart is her own family name. This simple but fiery feud caused much frustration and grief within the characters, preventing them from acting out their own desires but also being the epitome of the ultimate catastrophe of their relationship.

The play of Romeo and Juliet revolves around the theme of love. In the play, love is not simply just a petty and idealized emotion but a force that influences the entire storyline and all characters within. The love between the Romeo and Juliet is not just a beautiful, pure passion but also chaotic and destructive, bringing violence and death to family, friends and themselves. Love is repeated constantly throughout the story, being connected with violence and hate and also being the greatest expression to their suicide. The most famous quote by Juliet: “O Romeo, Romeo, wherefore art Romeo? Deny thy father and refuse my name, or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, and I’ll no longer be a Capulet.” Describes the balcony scene where she asks herself why Romeo must be the son of her greatest enemy. She states that she will deny her own family in order to be with him and this proves how love can override centuries of hate directed to the Montague family. The idea of love having no limit is demonstrated in Romeo’s last words to Juliet before he is banished. “For stony limits cannot hold me out, and what love can do, dares love attempt. Therefore they kinsmen are no stop to me.” Here he announces that nothing shall stop him from being with her and that he’ll do anything for them to be together. Their love for each other is far more important than what comes between then and surpasses the strength of the hatred between their families.

The play of Romeo and Juliet was a powerful and engaging love story which presented many ideas and thoughts. To create such a memorable play, he imposed a number of important forces to the play that dramatically changes how the play would unravel and which influenced the events that occurred. Key forces such as fate, love and hate were active throughout the entire play and were utilized to forge the great play that we have today.

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