Romeo and Juliet Compared to Pride and Prejudice

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Although Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ are two completely different texts, as one is a play- only able to use dialogue to portray feelings of love-and the other is a novel- where descriptions of characters moods and feelings can be used- they both demonstrate a variety of techniques to portray strong feelings of love.
Right from the beginning Shakespeare introduces the ideas of strong love using a prologue-this prologue is a sonnet in iambic pentameter. From the phrase ‘star crossed lovers’ Shakespeare is using the idea of fate so that the reader already knows that there will be strong love between two of the characters. It also indicates that the characters have no choice in who they will love as it has already been planned out. This sets the atmosphere for play and presents the idea that this type of love will be powerful and intense. In contrast Austen uses a satirical epigram to create humour. However the point about being ‘in want of a wife’ straight away gives the idea that marriage will be a key theme in this book and therefore, most likely, feelings of love, although in the 19th century marriage did not always involve being in love as matches were sometimes made more for convenience.
Both of the female characters in both texts live in a patriarchal society but they are each determined to make their own decisions. Both women refuse to conform to the expectations of society in their individual times and marry conventional partners who their parent/s want/s them to marry. Elizabeth refuses Mr Collins in favour of waiting for someone who she actually loves. She tells him that to accept his proposals ‘is absolutely impossible’ as her ‘feelings in every respect forbid it’. Clearly she is not afraid to go against what her mother wants and what is expected of her in society. Her harsh language and use of the word ‘forbid’ emphasises the force of her rejection. Although this does not necessarily indicate strong feelings of

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