Themes of “Romeo and Juliet” Love as a Cause of Violence The themes of death and violence permeate Romeo and Juliet, and they are always connected to passion, whether that passion is love or hate. The connection between hate, violence, and death seems obvious. But the connection between love and violence requires further investigation. Love, in Romeo and Juliet, is a grand passion, and as such it is blinding; it can overwhelm a person as powerfully and completely as hate can.
The passionate love between Romeo and Juliet is linked from the moment f its inception with death: Tybalt notices that Romeo has crashed the feast and determines to kill him Just as Romeo catches sight of Juliet and falls instantly in love with her. From that point on, love seems to push the lovers closer to love and violence, not farther from it. Romeo and Juliet are plagued with thoughts of suicide, and a willingness to experience it: in Act 3, scene 3, Romeo brandishes a knife in Friar Lawrence’s cell and threatens to kill himself after he has been banished from Verona and his love.
Juliet also pulls a knife in order to take her own life in Friar Lawrence’s resence Just three scenes later. After Capulet decides that Juliet will marry Paris, Juliet says, “If all else fail, myself have power to die” This theme continues until its inevitable conclusion: double suicide. This tragic choice is the highest, most potent expression of love that Romeo and Juliet can make. It is only through death that they can preserve their love, and their love is so profound that they are willing to end their lives in its defence.
In the play, love emerges as an amoral thing, leading as much to destruction as to happiness. But in its extreme passion, the love that Romeo and Juliet experience also appears so exquisitely beautiful that few would want, or be able, to resist its power. Fate From the beginning, we know that the story of Romeo and Juliet will end in tragedy. We also know that their tragic ends will not result from their own personal defects but from fate, which has marked them for sorrow. Emphasizing fate’s control over their destinies, the Prologue tells us these “star-crossed lovers'” relationship is deathmarked.
In Act l, Scene it, as Lord Capulet’s servant is searching for someone ho can read the guest list to him, Benvolio and Romeo enters Completely by chance, Capulet’s servant meets Romeo and Benvolio, wondering if they know how to read. This accidental meeting emphasizes the importance of fate in the play. Romeo claims it is his “fortune” to read ” indeed, “fortune” or chance has led Capulet’s servant to him ” and this scene prepares us for the tragic inevitability of the play. The lovers will be punished not because of flaws within their personalities but because fate is against them.
Ironically, the servant invites Romeo to the Capulet’s house, as long as e is not a Montague, to “crush a cup of wine. ” Only fate could manufacture this unlikely meeting with Capulet’s illiterate servant, as only fate will allow Romeo to trespass into the Capulet’s domain and meet Juliet. In Romeo and Juliet, death is everywhere. Even before the play shifts in tone after Mercutio’s death, Shakespeare makes several references to death being Juliet’s bridegroom. The threat of violence that pervades the first acts manifests itself in the latter half of the play, when key characters die and the titular lovers approach their terrible end.
There are several ways in which the characters in Romeo and Juliet consider death. Romeo attempts suicide in Act Ill as an act of cowardice, but when he seeks out the Apothecary in Act V, it is a sign of strength and solidarity. The Chorus establishes the story’s tragic end at the beginning of the play, which colours the audience’s experience from the start – we know that this youthful, innocent love will end in tragedy. The structure of the play as a tragedy from the beginning makes Romeo and Juliet’s love even more heart breaking because the audience is aware of heir impending deaths.
The Journey of the play is the cycle from love to death – and that is what makes Romeo and Julie so lasting and powerful. Age Throughout Romeo and Juliet, Shakespeare establishes the ideological divide that often separates youths from adults. The characters in the play can all be categorized as either young, passionate characters or older, more functional characters. The youthful characters are almost exclusively defined by their energy and impulsiveness – like Romeo, Juliet, Mercutio, and Tybalt. Meanwhile, the older characters all view the orld in terms of politics and expediency.
The Capulet and Montague patriarchs are certainly feisty competitors, but think in terms of victory as a concept, ignoring the potential emotional toll of their feud. Friar Laurence, who ostensibly represents Romeo and Juliet’s interests, sees their union in terms of its political outcome, while the young lovers are only concerned with satisfying their rapidly beating hearts. While Shakespeare does not posit a moral to the divide between young and old, it appears throughout the play, suggesting that the cynicism that comes with age is one f the many reasons that humans inevitably breed strife amongst themselves.
It also implicitly provides a reason for young lovers to seek to separate themselves from an ‘adult’ world of political violence and bartering. Revenge Romeo and Juliet suggests that the desire for revenge is both a natural and a devastating human quality. From the moment that the play spirals towards disaster in Act Ill, most of the terrible events are initiated by revenge. Tybalt seeks out Romeo and kills Mercutio from a half-cooked desire for revenge over Romeo’s attendance at he masquerade ball, and Romeo kills Tybalt to avenge Mercutio.
Romeo’s desire for revenge is so overpowering that he does not pause to think about how his attack on Tybalt will compromise his recent marriage to Juliet. Of course, the basic set-up of the play is contingent on a long-standing feud between the Montagues and Capulets, the cause of which no longer matters. All that matters is that these families have continued to avenge forgotten slights for generations. Though Shakespare rarely, if ever, moralizes, Romeo and Juliet certainly presents revenge as a senseless action
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