William Shakespeare's Romeo And Juliet Essay

1957 words - 8 pages

William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet

The themes raised in 'Romeo and Juliet' are perennial and universal,
tracking two young lovers, faced with adversity as they try to build
they lives together, but inevitably end up dead because of their
families' ancient feud. Despite being written in the 1600's, this play
engages the audience with it's many themes, which are, Love and
Lovesickness, conflict and fate.

The prologue is written in a sonnet, which straightaway makes us think
that the issue of love will be dealt with to a great extent in the
play. Before we even meet Romeo in Act 1 sc I we know he is lovesick
when his father and Benvolio are discussing him saying, 'so early
walking did I see your son', 'he gladly fled from me,' and 'shuts up
his windows, locks fair daylight out,' showing that Romeo just wants
to be by himself, he is avoiding his friends and just finding it hard
to sleep and it seems that he perhaps in love with the idea with being
lovesick and therefore does not want anyone to take his mind of
Rosaline. When we finally meet him the first thing he says is, 'is the
day so young,' showing that he feels that any time without Rosaline
drags for him. We are shown that love rules you when Romeo says that
love 'should be so tyrannous and rough in proof!' indicating that love
has overwhelmed him and it has been afflicted on him. When Romeo says,
'Grief's of mine own lie heavy in my breast,' we see love being
presented as suffering and tragic instead of pleasurable and joyous.
We see that Romeo has lost himself when he says 'I have lost myself, I
am not here, this is not Romeo, he's some other where,' and because he
is speaking in the third person we see that he is longing to find
himself. In his description of Rosaline, Romeo says, 'From Love's weak
childish bow she lives uncharmed,' showing that Rosaline has not been
hit by 'Cupid's arrow' in the same way that he has and his love is not
being returned. But we still have an expectation that Romeo will
always love Rosaline, when he says, 'thou canst not teach me to
forget,' and so we don't expect that by the next act Romeo will be out
of love with Rosaline and in love with Juliet. In Romeo's riddle,
'this love feel I that feel no love in this,' we see his ambivalence
and his contradictory feelings and how he is not enjoying being in
love. He uses the oxymoron, ' Do I live dead?' showing that he has
conflicting emotions and that this love is confusing him and making
him feel dead. The sonnet spoken between Romeo and Juliet in Act 1 sc
5 in which Romeo says, 'holy shrine and 'blushing pilgrims shows that
they are devoted to each other and it also shows Romeo's worship of
Juliet and we start to see the literary convention of courtly love.
Courtly love was invented by writers who wrote about damsels in
distress needing...

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