William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
Love and hate are the two predominant, contrasting themes of one of
William Shakespeare's early tragedies, "Romeo and Juliet".
"Romeo and Juliet" was penned in approximately 1595. During this
period Shakespeare was compiling his infamous sonnets and it would
seem that these two forms of prose share similar roots and
characteristics. Not only were they written simultaneously, but shared
themes as well; love, time and death.
William Shakespeare also solidifies this view more so by including
three sonnets in "Romeo and Juliet itself at key points in his
masterpiece. The first sonnet is coincidentally the first fourteen
lines of the play, the chorus, the second is when the two lovers first
meet at the Capulet ball and third sonnet concludes and summarizes the
happenings of Act One and introduces and explains what will come to
pass in Act Two.
As afore mentioned, "Romeo and Juliet" is one of Shakespeare's early
tragedies and therefore differs quite significantly from his latter
works. For example, Romeo and Juliet, the hero and heroine of the
play, try everything and anything in order to make their ending a
happy one but have obstacles thrown in their path at every major near
triumph. In other words, the main characters try to stop their
downfall but are brought down by factors they could not control or
This contrasts radically with Shakespeare's concluding tragedies e.g.
Macbeth. In my estimation, Macbeth brings about his own demise due to
his egotistic, demonic, power-hungry personality and this a stark
dissimilarity to that of Romeo and Juliet's end.
Despite the fact, that both of our paladins made a heart-rending
exodus, in could be alleged that advantageous times followed due to
their deaths. For example in the final scene involving the Prince,
Lord Capulet and Lord Montague, Lord Capulet ends the hostility
between the opposing entities, Capulet and Montague, by saying, "Oh
brother Montague, give me thy hand." This newly formed affiliation can
be directly linked to the circumstances surrounding Romeo and Juliet's
"star-crossed" relationship because in the subsequent line he calls
this friendship his "daughter's jointure", which can be interpreted as
his daughter's marriage gift which of course directly links to the
young couples marriage and death.
The phrases "star-crossed" and "death-marked" also brings me on to
another key theme in the play, fate. Fate was as intangible but also
as highly regarded as religion in the Elizabethan times. Whilst the
plot of the play may seem undoubtedly far-fetched by 21st century
standards it would be fair to say in Elizabethan times and be accepted
that, "it was all fateâ€¦". The most highly converted of the forms was
astronomy. Telling another beings fortune by the stars was...