Romeo & Juliet - Love[Importance of ]

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Romeo and Juliet is possibly the most famous love story in traditional English literature. This means that love is obviously the most important theme of the story. Shakespeare, I believe, focuses not on real love (other than in the later chapters of the story) but more on a forceful version of infatuation, specifically the type that cultivates blazing passion in a matter of seconds, as is what happened between Romeo and Juliet. In the play, love (read infatuation) is a violent, rapturous and overpowering impulse that overrides everything else. In the course of the story, the strength of the feelings between Romeo & Juliet compels them to defy everything that was important - their traditions, their values (Juliet - My only love, sprung from my only hate! Too early seen unknown, and known too late! Prodigious birth of love it is to me That I must love a loathed enemy - 1.5.139-142), their ruler (Romeo returns to Verona for Juliet’s sake after being exiled by the Prince on pain of death - II.i.76–78) their will, and above all, their parents (Juliet – “Deny thy father and refuse thy name,” Juliet asks, “Or if thou wilt not, be but sworn my love, And I’ll no longer be a Capulet”). Although love is the most important theme of the play, I have noted that Shakespeare’s interpretation of a pair of “star crossed lovers” differs from many other authors and playwrights alike. Shakespeare didn’t portray love as a dainty, spruced up, candy flavored emotion; the love in the story is brutal (Friar Lawrence - These violent delights have violent ends, And in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which, as they kiss, consume - II.6.9-11). It is evidenced by the fact that when Romeo’s best friend Mercutio was killed, Romeo actually displayed what love is all about; he doesn’t act like a whiny little baby who goes crying to the police, but as a raging monster out to
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