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Themes of Love in Romeo and Juliet

4 Pages 940 Words May 2019

In Act I, Scene I, the theme of love is presented through the fickle character of Romeo. Romeo is a Petrarchan lover, so is in love with the idea of love. He has unrequited love towards Rosaline, this is evident in the quote “o brawling love, o loving hate” reflecting that Romeo is heartbroken and confused because of love. At this point, the audience would question Romeo’s version of love as it can seem very untrustworthy and unreal due to his Petrarchan nature. Antithesis and oxymorons reinforce how love is contradictory and full of conflicting emotions implying his immaturity. “O loving hate” juxtaposes the opposite emotions further emphasizing Romeo’s confusion and fickle nature. Further on in Act 1 scene 5, we see Romeo suddenly fall in love with Juliet, “for I ne’er see true beauty till this night” meaning that he believes it is love at first sight further implying that he is a Petrarchan lover. Shakespeare intentionally uses a sonnet when Romeo and Juliet first meet, this is because a sonnet is a love poem which contains iambic pentameter reflecting a heartbeat. Romeo said that he will “smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss”, this suggests that Romeo is not worthy enough of Juliet’s touch also, the adjective “tender” explores Romeo’s true emotions. This shows that their first meeting was full of love and desire for one another. An Elizabethan audience would be shocked at these scenes due to the fact that people didn’t marry for love, they married for money, status and to honor their family name. Shakespeare intentionally presented this to his audience to show that he believed love can make people behave in foolish ways. A modern-day audience would query the fickle nature of Romeo and question whether it is true love or lust.
In Act 1 scene two the theme of love is presented through the relationship of Capulet and Juliet. This is evident in the quote “two more summers”, the lexis “summers...

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