How Love Is Presented In ‘Romeo And Juliet’ And a

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How love is presented in ‘Romeo and Juliet’ and a selection of poetry by Philip Larkin Many people consider Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ a stereotypical romantic love story. In some ways, it does meet these expectations. The archetypal lovers are brought up in ‘fair Verona’ by grand families ‘alike in dignity’. Because of the families' on-going conflict, the two 'star-crossed lovers' find themselves hurtling towards an ill-fated end. 'Violent passions lead to violent ends', therefore the romance becomes a tragedy. Philip Larkin however deliberately downgrades romantic ideas of love and is, is much more cynical in his poems like ‘Love’, ‘Sad steps’, and ‘Love songs in age’,‘ An Arundel tomb’ and‘ Talking in bed. His poems are filled with unconventional ideas of love and in some ways, he is more truthful about it than Shakespeare. However, people may say that Larkin is narrow-minded and critical. Even though there are some similarities between the two writers, there are also many differences. For example ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is large scale and public whereas Philip Larkin’s poems are small scale and private in feeling. ‘Romeo and Juliet’ is set in Verona which was a patriarchal society, one which was dominated by men, women were seen as feeble and inferior. Act One Scene One immediately highlights this, when Sampson and Gregory refer to women as 'the weaker vessels'. Men were expected to be powerful and control the women, who were expected to obey them. Sampson also says that he will ‘thrust his maids to the wall’. The word ‘thrust’ is a sexual remark which gives us an impression that he wants to rape the women. Sampson once again talks about raping women when he says, ‘I will cut off their heads’. By this, he means that he will take the virginity from the women. The nature of women being inferior to men is seen throughout ‘Romeo and Juliet’. This is
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