Love in Act1 of Romeo and Juliet

Topics: Romeo and Juliet, Characters in Romeo and Juliet, Love / Pages: 10 (2266 words) / Published: Sep 22nd, 2012
How is the Theme of Love Presented in Act I of Romeo and Juliet?

In Shakespeare’s play, “Romeo and Juliet”, the theme of love is central to the play and is highlighted by being set against a backdrop of conflict and violence. Throughout the play, Shakespeare uses the constant juxtaposition of love and hatred. I believe he does this so that the audience can really feel the plight of the two lovers set against such hateful circumstances. It also helps them to empathise and appreciate the struggle that Romeo and Juliet have to go through. Great tension is constantly present as the audience waits to see when the hatred will bring an end to their love. (E.O.P) In Act I of “Romeo and Juliet”, Shakespeare displays the parental love demonstrated by the Montagues and the Capulets and the “courtly” love of Romeo and Rosaline that is unrequited. However, the audience are then shown the purest and most natural form of love between Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet towards the end of Act I of the play. The effect of this is to build up dramatic tension as we are introduced to the hatred between the two families. The scene is set for the violent background to the forbidden love affair that will eventually unfold. (E.O.P) To begin with, Shakespeare uses a prologue which uses language to present the themes of love and hate. It is used to introduce the plot of the play, to let the audience know what is going to happen and to introduce the important themes. By using this classical style, Shakespeare gives his play a sense of dignity. I can also see that the prologue is written in sonnet form which intrigues me. I think that he uses this sonnet form to grab the attention and appeal to the audience because the Elizabethans enjoyed any clever use of language that fascinated them. Shakespeare also uses the sonnet form to add an eloquent touch to the play and boast his skills as a poet as well as a playwright. (E.O.P) Shakespeare creates a general atmosphere of hatred and imminent

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