Destiny is the hidden power believed to determine what will happen in the future. It is evident from the beginning of the play that destiny is involved. The prologue states that Romeo and Juliet are ‘star cross’d lovers’ (Prologue 6), which is referring to the inevitability of fate. It is not only felt by the audience, but the characters are conscious of it too. Romeo and Juliet frequently notice signs, such as when Romeo believes that Juliet is dead, he cried, ‘then I defy you, stars,’ (Act V, Scene I, Line 24) confirming the idea that Romeo and Juliet’s love, was not a part of their fate.
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.
‘Good Capulet, which name I tender as dearly as my own.’ The audience know the reason why Romeo won’t fight Tybalt, which is because Romeo and Juliet are now married. ‘The reason that I have to love thee.’ The audience know that Romeo must love Tybalt because they are now related. The other characters did not know about the wedding and are confused by what Romeo is saying. The dramatic irony in this scene makes it such an intense scene to watch. It is also a significant scene because it leads to Mercutio fighting Tybalt and Mercutios death.
Love Though Romeo and Juliet is arguably the most archetypal love story in the English language, it portrays only a very specific type of love: young, irrational, passionate love. In the play, Shakespeare ultimately suggests that the kind of love that Romeo and Juliet feel leads lovers to enact a selfish isolation from the world around them. Romeo and Juliet eschew their commitments to anyone else, choosing to act selflessly only towards one another. Sexuality does pervade the play, both through bawdy jokes and in the way that Romeo and Juliet anticipate consummating their marriage, but it does not define their love. Instead, their youthful lust is one of many reasons why their relationship grows so intense so quickly.
Shakespeare quite obviously plays with the conventions of Petrarchan characters and their views of desire throughout the play but most significantly towards the beginning. Romeo is introduced as a character that seems to be blinded by love, his desire for Rosaline is over powering, shallow and foolish – “He that is strucken blind cannot forget / The precious treasure of his eyesight lost” (1.1.225-226). Shakespeare has created Romeo to resemble the typical ‘Petrarchan lover’ speakers that are found in Petrarch’s sonnets, we hear Romeo obsessing over Rosaline whom like ‘Laura’ from Petrarch’s sonnets is unattainable to Romeo, as she is choosing to remain celibate - "She hath forsworn to love, and in that vow / Do I live dead that live to tell it now” (1.1.216-217) Shakespeare has purposefully created Romeo and Rosaline with these similarities to Petrarchan conventions in mind as he is able to successfully critique the discourse of desire through the growth of Romeo in the play and the introduction of Juliet. Shakespeare also relies on the fact that his audience are aware of ‘what’s in store’ for Romeo, allowing him to create a clichéd and conventional character - “The theatre audience knows that
Romeo doesn’t love Rosaline but instead loves the idea of love, he demonstrates physical desire and lust rather than actual love and a romantic connection, a stark contrast with the love he shares with Juliet. Mercutio is anti-romantic; for him, love is a physical pursuit, which he emphasizes through his lewd dialogue, “If love be rough with you, be rough with love. Prick love for pricking and you beat love down.” Mercutio's repeated references to the sexual aspect of love, contrasts with Romeo’s romantic connection with Juliet that is portrayed as going beyond simply a physical attraction, illustrating his cynical belief that romantic love does not exist. Moreover he curses specific people, the houses of Montague and Capulet, rather than an external force such as fate or love. The Nurse, similar to Mercutio, makes lewd references to the sexual aspect of love.
He was someone who saw that there was more to life then hatred. He states, “Here’s much to do with hatred but more with loves” (Act I, Scene 1, line 165) He knows that the fight is serious foolishness. (line 168) However, Romeo lets the force of illusionary love take hold of him which causes this young intelligent mind not to function to its full potential. From the very beginning of the play, before he even meets Juliet, he gives in to illusionary love with
The characters’ likings change in the play is troubling, where Lysander is intensely in love with Hermia at first and with Helena at another point. “Transparent Helena! Nature shows art that through thy bosom makes me see thy heart” (Shakespeare and Foakes Act II). The aim of the play is not to observe the nature of true love but reasonably to mock misunderstandings that love brings. Lysander, Hermia, Demetrius and Helena are destined not to be romantic classics, but somewhat sympathetic figures thrown into perplexing situations of romantic farce.
The word “O” shows exactly how taken aback Romeo first is. He is lost for words, which is often a sign of love. He, Romeo uses a metaphor to convey his feelings about Juliet. “She doth teach the torches to burn bright!” exaggerates his feelings over her. It is followed by the line “It seems she hangs upon the cheek of night”.
He uses conflict in so much detail that one would only have to look at the play; the length of the lines would stand out. Shakespeare shows Romeo’s emotions before and after meeting Juliet. Before Romeo meets Juliet he thinks he is in love, yet he is actually depressed. When Romeo’s friends try to raise his spirits by trying to get him to go to the Capulet party, he complains that he is, “Under loves heavy burden”. The metaphor of love being a “heavy burden” is ironic because love should not feel so negative.