Romeo's Understanding of Love in Act I of Romeo and Juliet

Pages: 3 (827 words) Published: May 26, 2014
How does Romeos understanding of true love develop in Act 1

Shakespeare’s play 'Romeo and Juliet” explores the Romeo’s understanding of love in Act 1. This is done through the juxtaposition of Romeo’s infatuated love towards Rosaline and the true love to Juliet. In Act 1 Scene 1 Shakespeare introduces us to Romeo’s passionate desire towards Rosaline through the use of binary opposition, soliloquy and vivid imagery. In contrast with Act 1 Scene 5 when Romeo is addressing Juliet, his language shifts through the use of, religious and Personification to reflect his romantic love to Juliet.

At the centre of Act 1 Scene 1 Shakespeare explores the infatuated and unsettling love of Romeo towards Rosaline. Romeo expresses his confusion of emotions through the use of binary opposition. ‘O brawling love, O loving hate’ this shows a juxtaposition of strong contrasting images “love” and “hate” suggesting that not only does Romeo find the intensity of his emotion towards Rosaline destabilising but also a burden with which Romeo has been “brawling” to carry stopping him from reaching peace. The further development of a series of oxymorons throughout Romeo’s speech exemplifies the complexity of his emotions such as “heavy lightness” or “cold fire, sick health” this shows the protagonist is so overwhelmed by feelings that he loses the sight of his common sense and spins into a mad love towards Rosaline.

Shakespeare further reinforces Romeo’s bewildered state of mind through fragmented syntax of the protagonist’s soliloquy. The repetition of ‘O’s’ gives a sense of Romeo’s disintegrated chain of thought. Romeo does not structure his sentences in an ordinary fashion but rather he spews out streams of consciousness intoxicated with vivid imagery of Rosaline

Shakespeare explores Romeo’s love to Rosaline through vivid imagery. The comparison of Rosaline to Diana reinforces the sense that the protagonist’s love is doomed from the start. For Romeo believes ‘She’ll not be...
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