To What Extent Do Love, Hate and Haste Contribute to the Tragedy of Romeo and Juliet?

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To what extent do love, hate and haste contribute to the tragedy of Romeo and Juliet? Romeo and Juliet (1597) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare about two star-crossed lovers driven to death by their feuding families. Tragedy has had an extensive history span, originating in ancient Greece where it was believed to be the highest form of drama. According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, it is defined as - “A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language;... in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions.” The passionate yet selfish love that blinds Romeo and Juliet, the strong hatred between the Montagues and Capulets and the urgent haste displayed by Lord Capulet and Romeo all contribute to catastrophic events displayed throughout the play. The play has become a symbol of love; the term “Romeo” is used to label passionate young lovers. Shakespeare’s multifaceted treatment of love, by exploring love in its many forms, threaded the key relationships in the play. At the start of the play, Romeo is described as being in love with Rosaline, which is presented as an impulsive, unrequited infatuation. No one thinks his feelings for her will last, even Friar Lawrence: when Romeo queries why the Friar scolds him for loving Rosaline, the Friar replied “For doting not for loving, pupil mine.”(ii. iii. 83) He believed that Romeo was not truly in love with Rosaline, instead, he was just lovesick or infatuated. Similarly, Paris’s love for Juliet is just brought out of tradition. He assumed Juliet would be a good candidate for a wife and asks Lord Capulet for her hand. Though this was the tradition, it can be interpreted that he wasn’t fervent towards this marriage. Before the wedding

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