ROMEO AND JULIET
What is the theme of the film/play Romeo & Juliet?
There are many themes in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Different people find many different themes; it all depends on ones point of view. Some common themes are: Love, Fate and Hatred. Each of these themes is discussed below in relation to the film/play.
Love in Romeo and Juliet is not that really, idealized emotion. The love Romeo and Juliet share is beautiful and passionate. It is pure, exhilarating, and transformative, and they are willing to give everything to it. But it is also chaotic and destructive, bringing death to friends, family, and to themselves. Over and over in the play, Romeo and Juliet’s love is mentioned in connection with death and violence, and finds it’s greatest expression in their suicide.
The theme of love in Romeo and Juliet also extends beyond the love that Romeo and Juliet feel for each other. All the characters in the play constantly talk about love. Mercutio thinks love is little more than an excuse to pursue sexual pleasure and that it makes a man weak and dumb. Lady Capulet thinks love is based on material things: Paris is handsome and wealthy; therefore Lady Capulet believes Juliet will love him. Lord Capulet sees love as obedience and duty. Friar Laurence knows that love may be passionate, but argues that it’s also a responsibility. Paris seems to think that love is at his command, since he tells Juliet that she loves him. In short, love is everywhere in Romeo and Juliet, and everyone sees it differently.
From the opening prologue when the Chorus summarizes Romeo and Juliet and says that the “star-crossed lovers” will die, Romeo and Juliet are trapped by fate. No matter what the lovers do, what plans they make, or how much they love each other, their struggles against fate only help fulfil it. But defeating or escaping fate is not the point. No one escapes fate. It is Romeo and Juliet’s determination to struggle against...
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