'Romeo and Juliet' was written in 1595 by William Shakespeare. Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy and love story about two children from rival families, who fall in love. Their misunderstandings lead to them both dying. Shakespeare uses an oxymoron in the play, love and hate. Shakespeare presents love and hate is many different ways, through language, context and some characters. In the times when Shakespeare was alive and his productions were first being shown, Juliet had to be played by a boy/man, this was because women weren't allowed on stage in those days. In this essay I will be talking about the ways Shakespeare presents love and hate.
In 'Romeo and Juliet' there are two rival families, the Capulets and the Montagues. Juliet is a part of the Capulet family while Romeo is a part of the Montague family. Both families live in Verona, Italy and both families hate each other. Shakespeare has presented hate in this way to show a major division between the two families who lives on separate sides of Verona. He shows hate in this way because he wants to show how Romeo and Juliet cannot be happily married like a normal couple as they both have to hide their marriage from their families. Shakespeare shows that love cannot heal hate. The play opens with a fight between the two families including Gregory and Sampson, the Capulet servants, and Abram and Benvolio, members of the Montagues. Benvolio is being the peacemaker between the two families. “Part, fools! Put up your swords, you know not what you do.” This shows that Benvolio tries to stop the fighting but everyone ignores him and fights anyway. Later on in the play, a fight occurs between Mercutio and Tybalt which turns very violent and Mercutio is stabbed by Tybalt, but Romeo steps in and kills Tybalt. This fight is representing hate between Capulets, a Montague and a member of royalty. Shakespeare uses a fight to show hate because it shows the conflict between two main families and someone who had nothing to do with the argument between Benvolio and Tybalt. Tybalt uses negative words by using alliteration which are snake sounds. “A villain that is hither come in spite, to scorn at our solemnity this night.” This scene is at the Capulet party in which Romeo and Juliet first meet and fall in love as the Montagues turn up at the party unexpected. Tybalt sees the Montague at their party and tells his uncle Lord Capulet and names Romeo as a villain. Later on the play, Romeo says that life must hate him because he has fallen in love with someone he is meant to hate. “Is she a Capulet? O dear account! my life is my foe's debt.” This shows that Romeo is surprised when he finds out Juliet is actually a Capulet.
Shakespeare shows love in many different ways in this play but the most important way of showing it is Romeo and Juliet's love. Shakespeare even starts the play off with a way of showing love by using a Sonnet. At the start of the play, Romeo is said to have been in love with Rosaline but she did not love him back, this is an example of unrequited love. Romeo is not happy about his love for Rosaline, instead he acts grumpy and sad but Benvolio gives him advice to forget about her and look for some more women to fall in love with. “Be ruled by me, forget to think of her. By giving liberty unto thine eyes, Examine other beauties.” This shows that Benvolio is tired of Romeo being sad about being in love so he gives him advice to forget about her and move on. This is showing love because while Romeo and Benvolio are looking for other women, Romeo meets and also falls in love with Juliet. Another example of requited love is between Paris and Juliet, this is shown later on in the play. As Lord and Lady Capulet are arranging their daughter's wedding, Friar Lawrence and Juliet are thinking of a way for her to get out of the wedding she does not want to take part in as she is already married to Romeo. Paris tells Lord Capulet that he wants to speed up the wedding but looks silly as Lord Capulet wants Juliet to be ready. Paris thinks there is no reason for Juliet to not marry him. “And in his wisdom hastes our marriage, To stop the inundation of her tears.” This shows that Paris thinks Juliet is still upset about Tybalt's death when in fact she is upset about Romeo being banished. “I will confess to you that I love him” This quote shows that Juliet tells Paris that she is in love with 'him', here she is referring to Romeo but Paris thinks she is talking about him, throughout this scene Paris and Juliet's exchanges have a double meaning. Juliet does not want to give away that she is already married to Romeo. Benvolio appears as the peacemaker in the play as he represents love. He does not want to fight with the Capulet's. “I do but keep the peace” This shows Benvolio does always keep the peace between the two families. Romeo and Juliet's love is the main part of the play and is shown in a lot of ways. Juliet has fallen in love with someone she is supposed to hate and she also says that Romeo's name does not matter as she still loves him. “'Tis by thy name that is my enemy; Thou art myself, though not a Montague” Juliet wonders why their names make a difference to who they are and if Romeo's name was different he would still be the same person. She also says that their names are keeping them apart. Mercutio is a person who makes jokes, most of them are about sex, which entertain the audience. He enjoys winding Romeo and Juliet up about their love. “O Romeo, that she were, O that she were An open-arse, thou a pop'rin pear!” Mercutio is energetic and full of life and makes a lot of puns. Shakespeare makes him like this to add some comedy to the play. Mercutio talks about sex and lust between Romeo and Juliet which highlights their love for each other.
Fated love is very important in the play because in the Sonnet at the start of the play, it sets out the scene and talks about fated love. “A pair of star-crossed lovers take their life; Whose misadventured piteous overthrows” This part of the Prologue says that Romeo and Juliet's fate was written in the stars and their misunderstandings lead to them both dying. Shakespeare shows in the play that fate brings Romeo and Juliet together, as they have both fallen for someone they are supposed to hate. Juliet can imagine what is going to happen to her and Romeo, while Romeo has a dream. In Romeo's dream, he talks about the stars and death. “Some consequence yet hanging in the stars. Shall bitterly begin his fearful date. By some vile forfeit of untimely death.” Romeo looks into the future and has a premonition of death. He believes that dreams come true and must mean something and have a purpose behind them while Mercutio thinks the total opposite. Mercutio believes that dreams are false and do not mean anything.
Juliet's “death” has a high impact on most characters in the play, especially Romeo and Paris. They are both grieving for her and are both in love with her. While Paris shows up to Juliet's tomb with flowers and mourns for her, Romeo shows up with poison and is planning on killing himself. Romeo is genuinely devastated of Juliet's death and cannot stop thinking of how he is going to carry out his death. Paris on the other hand, does not show much emotion, he stays calm and says he will cry every night even though he didn't know Juliet that well, but he feels sadness and pain for losing her. “Sweet flower, with flowers thy bridal bed I strew- Nightly shall be to strew thy grave and weep.” This shows Paris is mourning for Juliet unlike Romeo who just wants to know how Juliet died and wants to see her body so he can say goodbye. As Romeo tries to enter the tomb, Paris challenges Romeo to a fight, as Paris thinks Romeo killed Juliet because of Tybalt. “This is that banished haughty Montague, That murdered my love's cousin, with which grief.” This shows that Paris is trying to stop Romeo getting into the tomb. After Paris challenges Romeo to a fight, he is killed by Romeo. He tells Romeo he wants to be buried next to his love, Juliet, and as he did not mean to kill Paris, Romeo agrees and lays him next to Juliet's body and does not feel jealous. “Open the tomb lay me with Juliet.” Paris challenged Romeo because he wants to protect the Capulets and is getting involved with the family feud between the Montagues and Capulets. While Romeo is laying Paris next to Juliet's body, he finds Tybalt's body and asks him for forgiveness as he feels sorry for killing him. “Tybalt, liest thou there in thy bloody sheet? O, what more favour can I do to thee.” This shows Romeo wants to apologise to Tybalt before he dies. Romeo is also shocked that Juliet was due to marry Paris and he has killed for love. Romeo is more aggressive than sad towards Juliet's death as he does not mourn for her very much. Romeo thought his marriage was going to end the family feud. As Romeo takes one last look at Juliet's body, he still talks about her beauty. “Hath had no power yet upon thy beauty: Thou art not conquered, beauty's ensign yet. Is crimson in thy lips and in thy cheeks, And Death's pale flag is not advancÃ¨d there.” Romeo says here that Juliet looks as if she is still alive, he can tell this by the colour of her cheeks. Romeo then declares his love for her and drinks the poison unaware of Juliet soon to be awakening. “Here's to my love! [Drinks] O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus with a kiss I die. [Dies]” This is the point in the play where Romeo dies as Juliet awakes from her “death”. Juliet's fake death also has an effect on the Nurse and Lord and Lady Capulet. The Nurse arrives in Juliet's room excited for her and her wedding to Paris, this then changes as she begins to realise something is wrong. “Alas, alas! Help, help! my lady's dead! My lord! My lady!” This shows the Nurse trying to wake Juliet for her wedding and finds that she is dressed and will not wake up. Lady Capulet then enters and grieves for her daughter but also seems upset that there will not be a marriage. “O me, O me, my child, my only life!” This shows that the Nurse's grief seems much more real and extreme. Lord Capulet then enters and cannot believe the death of his daughter either. “O child, O child! my soul and not my child!” This shows that Lord Capulet does not believe that it is his child that has died. Altogether this shows that the Nurse reacted worse to the death of Juliet, while Lady Capulet did not seem too upset.
In Shakespeare's time, young girls were to be married at a very young age such as 13 years old. This is how old Juliet was when she met Romeo and the age when her mother starts talking to her about marriage. Juliet's father, Lord Capulet, believes Juliet is too young to be married but would like her to get married if Juliet agrees to it. But then later on in the play after he meets Paris, Lord Capulet decides he wants Juliet to be married as soon as possible, even though he does not know she is already married to Romeo. Lord Capulet believes Paris would be the perfect husband for Juliet because he is royalty and related to the Prince. “She shall be married to this noble earl.” This shows Lord Capulet wants Juliet to be married to Paris straight away rather than let her get to know or fall in love with Paris. Lord Capulet then organises the wedding himself without consoling Juliet because she cannot accept she has to be married. Juliet's parents think that her getting married will cheer her up after the death of Tybalt. “But for the sunset of my brother's son It rains downright. How now, a conduit, girl? What, still in tears?” This shows Lord Capulet thinks that Juliet is still grieving for Tybalt when she is actually upset that Romeo has been banished.
Shakespeare shows that Juliet and the Nurse have a strong bond, almost like a mother and daughter bond. The Nurse is more like a mother to Juliet than Lady Capulet because Juliet and her mother have a distant relationship as she has been bought up by the Nurse. She knows more about Juliet than Lady Capulet does for example, her age and her opinion on marriage. The Nurse treats Juliet like a daughter because she had a daughter, Susan who is mentioned in the play, but died. “Susan and she- God rest all Christian souls!- Were of an age. Well, Susan is with God” This shows that the Nurse is telling Juliet and Lady Capulet about the death of her daughter. This is the reason why the Nurse has stayed around looking after Juliet for so long, because she misses her own daughter. Lady Capulet is so distant from her daughter, she needs the Nurse in the room when she speaks to Juliet. “Nurse, give leave a while, We must talk in secret. Nurse, come back again, I have remembered me,” This shows that Lady Capulet cannot be left alone with her daughter as she barely knows her that well and needs the Nurse's company. The Nurse is relaxed, informal and feels comfortable and speaks freely around Juliet and her mother. Juliet is a lot closer to the Nurse than her own mother but she respects her mother a lot, although they are very distant, she can be a bit afraid of her mother. Juliet is not bothered about being married as she is not interested. “Tell me, daughter Juliet, How stands your dispositions to be married?” “It is an honour that I dream not of.” This is showing Lady Capulet starting to speak about marriage to her daughter and she tries to convince Juliet to get married and starts to speak of her own experience of getting married at a young age.
Shakespeare also shows that Romeo and Friar Lawrence have a close relationship. After Romeo returns from Capulet mansion, the Friar fears that Romeo has spent the night with Rosaline, but then he learns Romeo has fallen in love with someone else and is asked if he could marry him and Juliet. Friar Lawrence agrees to carry out the ceremony because he thinks their marriage will end the feuding of the Montagues and Capulets. “For this alliance may so happy prove To turn your households' rancour to pure love.” This quotation shows that Friar Lawrence will do anything to stop the families feuding, and he is taking a big risk by marrying a member of the Montague family and a member of the Capulet family. If a family member of either Romeo or Juliet found out Friar Lawrence married them, the Friar could be banished. Shakespeare also shows that Juliet and the Friar have a close relationship. This may be because the Friar helps Juliet think of a plan to get out of the marriage to Paris. He acts like a father to Juliet as she is not close to her father either. “Hold, daughter, I do spy a kind of hope, Which craves as desperate an execution.” This shows that Friar Lawrence call Juliet 'daughter' which shows that they obviously have a close relationship. Shakespeare shows Romeo and Juliet close to the Nurse and Friar Lawrence because they are both distant from their parents. They are also very close to them because the Nurse and Friar Lawrence are the only people that know about Romeo and Juliet's relationship and that they got married.
The end of the play is very important because it shows where the Montagues and Capulets finally forget about their feud and make peace with each other. The Prince starts to talk about Romeo and Juliet's relationship and how it strengthens love, but still talks about the hate that they have caused for their children to die. The Prince advises them to end the feud for they have both lost children. Their hate for each other has caused some deaths and loosing family members from each family. “Where be these enemies? Capulet, Montague? See what a scourge is laid upon your hate, That heaven finds means to kill your joys with love!” This shows that the Prince is showing the Montagues and Capulets what their argument has caused. The two families then agree to settle their differences as they realise what damage they have done to their family and themselves. “O brother Montague, give me thy hand. This is my daughter's jointure, for no more Can I demand.” This shows Lord Capulet making an effort. The families also promise to make a golden statue of Romeo and Juliet. “But I can give thee more, For I will raise her statue in pure gold, That whiles Verona by that name is known, There shall no figure at such rate be set As that of true and faithful Juliet.” This shows Lord Montague then making an effort by saying he will let everyone know in Verona about Juliet. “As rich shall Romeo's by his lady's lie, Poor sacrifices of our enmity!” This then shows Capulet saying he will also put up a statue of Romeo and tell everyone in Verona about him too. The Prince then ends the play with a speech, saying some will receive punishment and some will be pardoned. “Some shall be pardoned, and some punished: For never was a story of more woe Than this of Juliet and her Romeo.” This quote shows the play ending with a Sonnet which sums up what happens at the end of the play. At the beginning of the play, which starts with a Sonnet, Shakespeare warns us that the only way the feud would end is if their children die, which is exactly what happens.
In conclusion, Shakespeare has shown love and hate in many ways. He has shown love through Romeo and Juliet and Romeo and Rosaline. He shows true love through Romeo and Juliet, who are willing to die for each other, and unrequited love through him and Rosaline. Shakespeare shows in the balcony scene that Romeo and Juliet have fallen in love with each other even though they have only just met. This play shows the couple taking a lot of risks in being together despite of their feuding families. Shakespeare also shows hate through Benvolio and Tybalt and the Montague family and the Capulet family. He also shows what hate can do by showing the death of Mercutio, Tybalt, Paris, Romeo and Juliet. Romeo and Juliet are supposed to hate each other but they accidentally fall in love. Shakespeare also shows hate with a lot of fights between members of the families. Overall, Shakespeare shows love and hate in lots of different ways which are shown throughout the play. They are shown in this way because Shakespeare wants to show the division between the two families and the love for Romeo and Juliet.