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Romeo and Juliet

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Annalise Bowen

on 19 February 2013

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Transcript of Romeo and Juliet

Love = Not Stereotypical "Alas that love so gentle in his view / Should be so rough and tyrannous in proof" (1.1.167-168) Love = Death "The fearful passage of their death-mark'd love / And the continuance of their parents' rage" (Prologue) Love = Madness "What is it else? A madness most discreet" (1.1.191) Love = Smoke "Love is a smoke made with the fumes of sighs" (1.1.188) Love = Fire "Being purg'd, a fire sparkling in lovers' eyes" (1.1.189) Love = Thorn "Is love a tender thing ? It is too rough, / Too rude, too boisterous and it pricks like thorn" (1.4.25-26) Love = Burden "Under love's heavy burden do I sink" (1.4.22) Love = Soaring "You are a lover, borrow Cupid's wings / And soar with them above a common bound" (1.4.17-18) "A choking gall, a preserving sweet" (1.1.192) Throughout the play Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare uses his word choice to show the complexities of love, how it can be both positive and negative. Love He calls love both "sweet" and "choking". He uses "sweet" to show the good side of love, what many people think of when they hear the word love. But, he uses "choking" to show the negative side of love, and that while love can seem entirely sweet and happy, it is not because it also restricts the lovers. His use of contradictory words highlights both aspects of love. Here, Benvolio is talking to Romeo, who is miserable because the girl he loves, Rosaline, does not love him back. Benvolio says that even though love can seem "gentle" from the outside, it is "tyrannous" and "rough" when experienced. He shows that to people who aren't in love, love is gentle and simple (the stereotypical idea of love). However, when people fall in love, they should begin to realize love's complications, and that it is not always as happy and as easy as the stereotype implies. Benvolio recognizes this, and the fact that real love is NOT the stereotypical idea of love shows the negative side of love because real love is more complex than stereotypical love. In the prologue, a chorus of narrators introduces the play. They hint at the deaths of Romeo and Juliet, and imply that the cause of their deaths was the "fearful passage of their death-mark'd love". Even before the play officially begins, Shakespeare is already portraying a negative aspect of love. By calling Romeo and Juliet's love "fearful" and "death-mark'd", Shakespeare shows that love can sometimes take a turn for the worse, and can even be fatal. He warns the audience of the possible consequences of love, and how love can have a bad outcome. Here, Benvolio and Romeo are discussing love. Benvolio thinks more of the positive side of love, while Romeo focuses on the negative aspects. Romeo asks "What is [love] else?" and he answers his own question, calling love a "madness most discreet". Romeo sees love as a madness that can effect anyone, even the wisest of people. The state of being mad is defined by Merriam-Webster dictionary as being "disordered in the mind" and being "completely unrestrained by reason and judgement". By comparing people in love to mad people, Shakespeare implies that lovers are impulsive and make rash decisions, which usually turn out poorly and have bad consequences, so Shakespeare highlights another negative aspect of love. Romeo refers to love as a "smoke made with the fumes of sighs". He describes it as a smoke that clouds lovers' vision, which I think refers to their thoughts and judgement. By comparing love to smoke, Shakespeare is making the point that the "smoke" of love begins to cloud lovers' judgement and reasoning, and that this usually results in bad things happening, because the lovers are so in love that they cannot think clearly. Through connecting love to smoke, Shakespeare shows another negative aspect of love. Romeo says that once the smoke of love is cleared, it reveals a "fire sparkling in lovers' eyes". Another part of love, besides the "smoke", is the internal feeling. I think that Shakespeare connects the process of fire to the process of love, because love "in lovers' eyes" is equivalent to the "sparkling" fire. When the fire begins to burn out, it forms a smoke which spreads and clouds the lovers' vision. By connecting love to smoke and fire, Shakespeare shows a more negative side of love, when love blinds people from good judgement and reasoning. Here, Romeo's love has caused him to be miserable. He says that love is not a "tender thing", how it is stereotypically thought of. He says it is instead "rough", "rude", "boisterous", and that it "pricks like thorn". Romeo's understanding that love is more that its stereotype shows his deep level of thought. By comparing love to a thorn, Shakespeare explores the idea that while stereotypical love is beautiful, like a rose, both love and roses have "thorn[s]", which can be harmful. Many people seem to forget about these thorns because they just accept the stereotypical idea of love and do not think about it on a deeper level, much like how Romeo does. By showing another negative side of love, Shakespeare further enforces the idea that love is complex, and even if love seems beautiful on the outside it is not always that way. Romeo says that he is "sink[ing]" under the "heavy burden" of his love. By comparing his love to a burden, Romeo implies that he feels weighed down by his love. Also, when he says he feels he is sinking under his love, he implies that his love is holding him back. By having Romeo speak this way about love, Shakespeare shows more negative aspects of love. He is showing that love can keep people from moving forward in their lives because it can make them miserable, like Romeo. This miserable side of love adds to the complexities of love that Shakespeare elaborates on throughout the play. Love = Different
for Different People Juliet Capulet "I'll look to like, if looking liking more" (1.1.97) Romeo Montague "Griefs of mine own lie heavy in my breast" (1.1.184)
"In sadness, cousin, I do love a woman" (1.1.202) Love is viewed differently by Romeo and Juliet. Their experiences with love shape their thoughts about it. Romeo says that "in sadness" he is in love; however, his love is not returned so he has "griefs" that "lie heavy in [his] breast". According to Romeo, love is sad and grief stricken. His miserable outlook on love shows that he has had experience with it and knows that love is not only what is thought of as stereotypical love, but has many more underlying layers. Romeo shows that while love can be good, it also can contradict stereotypical love, and have bad consequences. However, Juliet is more naive and has no experience with love, so her only idea of love is stereotypical love. Her mother tells her that there someone who seeks her love, and asks her if she can love the man, before Juliet has even met him. Juliet responds that she will "look to like, if looking liking more". By saying that she expects to love the man she has never met, but she will decide when she sees him, Juliet shows her naivety about love. She thinks love is based solely on beauty, and that the only purpose of love is marriage. Shakespeare uses Juliet to show that people cannot truly understand love until they have experienced it, as Romeo has. Romeo and Juliet both have very different ideas about what love is, and their ideas have been shaped by their experiences with love (or lack thereof). In this quote, Mercutio is talking to Romeo and is trying to convince him that love can be good. He tells Romeo that since he is a "lover", he can "borrow Cupid's wings" and "soar with them" above the common people, those who aren't in love. Mercutio uses the the word soar to show Romeo the goodness of love. Mercutio thinks that since Romeo is in love, he should use his love to be happier than all of the people who are not in love. Shakespeare uses Mercutio to show that love can be good, despite all of the miserable aspects of love that are emphasized throughout the play. Love = Complex Death Madness Smoke Fire Burden Not Stereotypical Soaring Thorn Different for different people
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