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romeo and juliet
Romeo and Juliet Motifs and Theme of Love One of the best known Shakespearean plays, Romeo and Juliet, has amazing motifs that develop the theme of love. This play was translated into 80 different languages over the past four centuries and is 416 years old and remains the best known love story of all time. When people come across forbidden love or star-crossed lovers, they usually think of Romeo and Juliet. There are so many versions of movies, books, and plays that are based on the story of Romeo and Juliet. You could say that Romeo and Juliet is one of the most famous fiction lovers in all history. This tragic but beautiful play’s most prominent and important theme is love. There are many motifs that develop the theme of love which are: love, death and violence, and birds. One of the most obvious motifs of these is the love itself. Constantly, we are reminded of what the theme of Romeo and Juliet throughout all acts. There are different kinds of love shown in Romeo and Juliet; romantic love, parental love, and unrequited love. For romantic love, Romeo and Juliet would represent this- the two people love each other very much and they exchange vows of love for each other quite often and especially at Juliet’s balcony after the Capulet’s party. “For stony limits cannot hold love out, and what love can do, that dares love attempt.” (2.2.71). For parental love, the nurse and Juliet- the nurse is not exactly Juliet’s mother but practically is because she raised Juliet since she was born. The nurse cares and worries like she is the mother. “I think you are happy in this second match, for it excels your first: or if it did not, your first is dead; or 'twere as good he were, as living here and you no use of him.” (3.5.226-238). For unrequited love, Paris and Juliet, Romeo and Rosaline: Paris is not the only one who suffered from a heart break. In the beginning of the play, Romeo is in woe because Rosaline does not love him back. “From love 's weak childish bow she lives unharm 'd. She will not stay the siege of loving terms,” (1.1.206). Not all love themes mean that the story will be sweet as candy- as we all know Romeo and Juliet contains violence and death. There was much violence caused by love-when Mercutio and Tybalt died and Juliet and Romeo result in death. Mercutio and Tybalt get in a sword fight and Mercutio gets killed by Tybalt. Romeo is friends with Mercutio and wants to avenge for his friend that he loved so he kills Tybalt in return. “O Romeo, Romeo, brave Mercutio 's dead!” (3.1.111) “This day’s black fate on more days doth depend; this but begins the woe, other must end.” (3.1.114). In the last act, Juliet drinks a potion that will make her seem dead. However, Romeo was not informed of this and drinks the poison because he thinks Juliet is dead and could not endure the thought of continuing on life without her. Then, Juliet wakes up and seeing Romeo is dead, stabbes herself. So the death and violence motif helped create the theme love because love was the factor that caused all the trouble for everyone. The motif, bird is an archetypal symbol that represents freedom because birds are able to spread their wings and fly away to wherever they desire. Romeo and Juliet feels as if they were restrained because they could not meet each other like normal couple would because their families are enemies and would do anything possible to stop this relationship if they found out. Romeo and Juliet show their longing for freedom through different kinds of birds. “Would through the airy region stream so bright, that birds would sing and think it were not night.” (Romeo, Act2.1 Line). Romeo is trying to say that birds, who are the masters of freedom, would think that they should maintain their relationship, that if they stopped it would be wrong, and they should be free to love anyone they want to. Romeo and Juliet includes marvelous motifs that support the theme of love. This 416 years old play has been translated into 80 different languages over the past four centuries. It is so famous now and many movies, books, and plays are based on this play. Shakespeare has become a respected poet and playwright in his day and today also. The melancholy but sweet play’s most obvious and crucial theme is love and the motifs that help develop the theme are: love, death and violence, and birds.
Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Canada: IPT Nelson, 1997. Print.
Cited: Shakespeare, William. Romeo and Juliet. Canada: IPT Nelson, 1997. Print.