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

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How Does Shakespeare Present The Theme Of Love in `Romeo And Juliet`?

In the play `Romeo and Juliet` the writer William Shakespeare uses the theme of love as a main feature to push the story along. Presented are a plethora of variations of love including family love, true love and courtly love. This essay aims to analyse these three types of love chosen.

Family love or loyalty is evident throughout the storyline. It is observed when Romeo discusses his depression with his cousin, Benvolio. Romeo describes love using the words `O loving hate… feather of lead, bright smoke, cold fire, sick health [and] still-waking sleep`. Shakespeare uses the literary techniques of oxymoron’s to express Romeo’s confusion as he tries to elucidate what love is and convey that he is a man in pain, love-sick.

In reply to Romeo’s repetitions of descriptions of smoke Benvolio says `[when] one fire burns out another’s burning`, meaning that he wishes for Romeo to find another woman to love as there are many other possibilities of love available, one that is tangible or at least one that will distract him from the woman he suffers from. He suggests `some new infection` to discard `the rank poison of the old`. Hoping that Romeo will find a love more fair that will end the characteristics Romeo is displaying of courtly love. Romeo knows he is `out of her favour where [he is] in love` yet due to the fact that he is displaying courtly love it does not matter that Rosaline is unattainable he still ponders over her without listening to Benvolio`s advice and offers for example to be a `doctrine` that will cure him of love.

The care displayed by Benvolio is used by Shakespeare to show Romeo`s confusion and pain therefore leading the observer to feel for Romeo. It is also used to quicken the pace of the play, Benvolio`s advice starts Romeo`s recovery and the start of finding a new love.

Another example of family loyalty is Tybalt. He is a Capulet and therefore when he notices Romeo,

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