Romeo and Juliet, and Pride and Prejudice: Negative Perspective on Love

Pages: 3 (1106 words) Published: August 27, 2013
One rather negative perspective on love is that the costs may outweigh the rewards

The play, ‘Romeo and Juliet’ by William Shakespeare and the novel, ‘Pride and Prejudice’,1813, by Jane Austen, both have the same concepts of love and that a rather negative perspective on love is that the costs may outweigh the rewards. In both texts, they demonstrate the limitations that prevent them from being together. In ‘Romeo and Juliet’, the idea of the opposing families, the pressures of society, the use of violent acts and language is ultimately what prevents the star-crossed lovers from being together is very similar. Both Shakespeare and Austen use a variety of literary techniques to convey the idea that the costs of love may outweigh the rewards.

There are many negative perspectives that can be taken from ‘Romeo and Juliet’ that illustrate on the cost of love, in their case one of them is their parental disapproval for both Romeo and Juliet. In the text Shakespeare uses rhetorical questions, religious and visual imagery to explain the parental disapproval of both the Capulet and Montague family. Juliet’s own use of rhetorical questions, ‘What’s in a name?’, is an indication of her searching for a way to distance her love, Romeo, from the hatred of their conflicting and feuding families. Romeo uses of religious and visual imagery, ‘Call me but love, and I’ll be new baptised’, The use of visual imagery, ‘Had I it written, I would tear the word’, portrays the idea of the costs outweighing the rewards, he is willing to sacrifice family loyalty to secure his love with Juliet. For both Romeo and Juliet to be together they must pay the ultimate cost rather than a reward of celebrating their love with family.

One of the main costs that outweigh the rewards is that love in a climate of violence cannot be successful. In act 1, Romeo finds out that Juliet is a Capulet, his words repeat the prologue; ‘death-marked love/untimely death’. This also describes their...
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